Adding to Subtract
The title of the exhibition - Adding to Subtract – reflects its ambition to signify the implications of the act in the context of contemporary art. The exhibition is driven by the possibility to read the contemporary artistic act as undoing (rather than doing), and to experience the appearance of an image as an indication of disappearance. Though it's pretentious the exhibition is not seeking to summarize different attitudes or phenomena but to sketch "a proposal for a proposal", an associative net.
The conceptual starting point is Francis Alÿs' Paradox of Praxis (Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing), where he draws a line with ice on the roads of Mexico City, in order to create a paradox – a mark of disappearance. He connects this intended failure to political and social immobility, to determinism, to the impossibility and inability to act, to make a difference in the existing regimes and social structures we're surrounded by. Alastair Smart reads the work as a "comment on Mexico's ailing economy – one in which people sweat, toil and push their metaphoric block of ice for hours on end, but still have zero to show for it come the end of the day."
The exhibition is based on inner opposites and the works it shows present a self canceling mechanism. Some of them, for example Benni Efrat's, are involved with active erasing that does not erase itself, and the visible traces it leaves manifest "the appearance of disappearance". The ways in which Lothar Hempel presents human figures can take the exhibition's discourse even further. Hempel is taking enlarged photographic prints, crops the human figure out of them and integrates it in a new sculptural context. He reduces the original information of the photographic image and gives the figure a new spatial context, mythological and theatrical.
Another video work in this show is by Doron Golan, who digitally filled one of the busiest intersections of Tel-Aviv city with military vehicles that cross the frame and transform the space into a war zone. He takes the expression Adding to Subtract to the extreme, i.e., to a situation where filling and adding not just erase what precedes them, but potentially and actively participate in the destruction of the original space, which is not just subtracted but truly eliminated.