Tal Amitai-Lavi, Light Construction, 2014, solo exhibition at Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv, installation view (1). Photo: Youval Hai
Tal Amitai-Lavi | Light Construction
The exhibition is dedicated to the loving memory of my parents - Avraham and Malka Lavi – with everlasting appreciation and gratitude
Tal Amitai-Lavi's solo exhibition Light Construction is a site-specific installation created and built especially for the gallery and is a continuum of the artist's exploration of the concept of home.
DVD Catalogue Launch event, with the participation of Participants: Tal Amitai-Lavi, Hadas Maor, curator, 01.05.2014
- To view an abridged version of the exhibition's video catalogue click here -
The exhibition includes three elements that create one whole sculptural environment: a large drawing depicting a house impacted by Hurricane Katrina, drawn with black sewing thread glued on a clear Perspex sheet, and two monumental sculptural works. One of the works, Colonnade, is an installation of two rows of columns echoing the colonnade in the gallery's façade, the other is a slightly opened door, allowing a glance into a dark and empty space.
All the works at the exhibition have been created in a laborious, repetitive and Sisyphean process. The sculptural works are constructed in a unique technique; stretching thousands of clear and thin fishing lines. This sculptural method creates an architectural structure made of unconventional materials as well as a shift between the two dimensional and three dimensional, between presence and absence. The colonnade's usual presence of heavy and solid concrete appropriate for supporting pillars is transformed to an airy structure of illusive fishing lines. The door is spatially deceptive, confusing the inside and outside, actual space with the imagined one, threatening and inviting at the same time.
The exhibition’s name, Light Construction, carries a dual meaning referring both to the airy aspect of the works, paraphrasing the term "light-frame construction", as well as to the feature of light, an integral sculptural material in this exhibition, which enables our vision to see the works as three dimensional and their illusive optical appearance.
While in her earlier works Amitai-Lavi focused on the relationships within the framework of the home or family, in this exhibition she draws away from those narratives and towards a visual and conceptual materiality. It is a continuous reductive effort which manifests in her choice of image, matter and colour.
Tal Amitai-Lavi (b. 1969, Israel) graduated cum laude from Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College, she holds a B.A. (cum laude) in the Multidisciplinary Program of the Arts, Tel Aviv University, and an MFA in Creative Arts from the University of Haifa. Amitai-Lavi has had several solo exhibitions in Israel and participated in numerous group exhibitions in major galleries, museums, and other venues. Her works are in some of the finest collections in Israel and abroad. In 2013 she received support for "Light Construction" catalogue from the Pais Council for Art and Culture. In 2010 her work "Direct Hit / The House on Nahalal St.,Haifa" was awarded the Sotheby's prestigious "Under The Hammer" prize at "Fresh Paint 3" fair. Her solo exhibition "(temporary) Happiness," 2004, was supported by the Forum of Art Museums and the Beracha Foundation; in 2002 and 2003 she received an Artist-Teacher Award from The Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; and in 1996 and 1997 she won the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship (Sharett Foundation).
Eliran Yosef, director of Jet Laser, Holon; Erel Hershko, Yoram (Jores) Ilan, Yotvata locksmith's workshop; Nissan Gelbard - light design; Assistants: Eviatar Toker, Shelly Wasserman, Roi Sharabani and volunteers; supporters through "Headstart"; Nira Itzhaki and Chelouche Gallery team: Adi Artsi and Dafna Falk.
Exhibition text- Hebrew
Partners | Group Exhibition
Curator: Tal Amitai-Lavi
In his book Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino describes the city of Thekla:
"Those who arrive at Thekla can see little of the city, beyond the plank fences, the sackcloth screens, the scaffoldings, the metal armatures, the wooden catwalks hanging from ropes or supported by sawhorses, the ladders, the trestles. If you ask 'Why is Thekla's construction taking such a long time?' the inhabitants continue hoisting sacks, lowering leaded strings, moving long brushes up and down, as they answer 'So that it's destruction cannot begin.' And if asked whether they fear that, once the scaffoldings are removed, the city may begin to crumble and fall to pieces, they add hastily, in a whisper, “Not only the city…”
The exhibition Partners came together while I was working on my solo exhibition Light Construction, taking place in the main gallery space, in an attempt to group artists-partners that share my artistic paths. The exhibition presents artworks by artists who belong to a generation who has witnessed catastrophes and crises. Their work is imbued with corrupted landscapes of destruction and ruins, aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. These artists form relationships with one another, whether by the contents of their works, their studio process or the aesthetic quality and materiality of their works.
The artworks shift between construction and deconstruction and depict extreme situations and dilapidated spaces; collapsing structures, shattered constructions and bare building frames, archaeological remains and natural disasters. Images that the functionality and purpose of which, has been pushed aside in order to highlight their fragility and temporality.
The works are intimate and restrained, they seem implicit, refined and minimal, luring the viewer to come closer. The materials that they are made of - thread, sand, paper, sponge, powder, etc'- have a delicate, disposable and lyrical presence. These materials serve the subject matter of the works well as they expose a physical and mental space that is vulnerable and fragile.
The works at the exhibition commit themselves to a slow, laborious and consuming process. Similarly to the construction workers in Thekla, the artists' Sisyphean and rigorous commitment to the artworks is meant to stop the destruction "So that its destruction cannot begin." It seems that for the artists the work in the studio can subdue the anxiety, if only just slightly, (and) expresses the impossible attempt for gaining control over a chaotic, doubtful, untamed world.
Tal Amitai-Lavi, Aziz+Cucher, Haimi Fenichel, Tal Frank, Shira Gepstein-Moshkovich, Efrat Klipshtien, Liat Livni, Tomer Sapir, Sasha Serber, Tamar Shefer, Nadav Weissman, Noa Yekutieli