The Construction of Man

2014

Artists' House Tel-Aviv

Curator Sari Golan

Man and House: Individual Exposition

In this show each character interacts with a building.  The house can be stable or about to collapse, it can be a mansion or a hovel, or both at the same time.  The human or human-like figure reflects the building, clashes with it, or complements it. I started dealing with the dialogue between man and house at the time I moved into an appartment of mine own for the first time in my life. During the weeks and months after I started living in my own house, deep changes took place in the house, the house owner (myself) and the relationship between the two.   I often experience myself as lacking  a protective skin.  In most of my paintings, the tempestuous surrounding world invades and penetrates the figure, jumbling up its inner nature.  Or it is the other way round, and the background looks like the externalized innards of the figure.  This is a basic feeling of mine.  Therefore coming to live in my own house was a major experience.  The transition was not easy. Two of my pictures got irreparably damaged in the move.  the house had demanded a sacrifice as an entrance pledge. My dad told me that there were cultures in which a human being had to be buried in the foundations of a new house, so as to appease the jealous gods. "If so, I came out cheap", I thought.  For quite a while, living in the house only enhanced my sense of vulnerability. Many days went by until I and my house became less wary and hostile to one another.  Some of the works in the present series depict interactions between a figure and a crumbling house, in which broken parts of the house turn into body parts of the figure. Sometimes the house only enhances the feeling of being cloven, the figure then sits inside the threatening building  with open legs and a gaping wound in their middle. Gradually, the two "partners" begin accomodating to each other.The figure becomes part of the design, a picture on the wall, or part of the roofwork. The mutual strangeness is still there, the house giving the figure the lineaments of a monster. Gradually couples appear, constituted by house-and-dweller, as if planned by the same architect: a baroque house with a baroque owner, round columns for a round head, a monumental front for a giant.  Sometimes the monster becomes pacified, like a comic clown atop a fantastic cathedral.

 

Text by Noam and Haim Omer

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