Assaf Rahat, Chimera, 2014, Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv, installation view (1). Photo: Roni Kaufmann
Assaf Rahat's works at Chimera carry on his previous body of work, portraying mental and autobiographical symbolism: self-portraits, skulls and torn body parts alongside animals and childhood cartoons, conjoined together to form a cacophony of hybrids and chimeras.
According to Rahat, the motivation behind his current work shifted from the expressiveness of the hand movement towards a focus on the formation of an image that instigates the next one. As with a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be solved, Rahat's mental images, deriving from the realm of dreams and memories, are combined in an associative sequence, piecing together a surrealist world on the border between childhood innocence and dark visions.
Upon entering the gallery space, the visitors are welcomed by a circular work made of thread, echoing the linear strokes of the line drawing presented at the exhibition. The symmetry surrounding the axis of this work resembles the symmetry of the inkblots in the Rorschach test. The use of threads brings to mind the obsession described by the psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott in "Playing and Reality", studying the case of a seven-year-old boy's obsession with threads. The hybrid creatures on the gallery's walls appear to belong to a chimerical world, parallel to the one of Hieronymus Bosch's masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights. All these suggest possible inspirations for the works in Chimera. The works provide a glance into the obscurities of Rahat's mind, the fantasies, fears and memories he carries within.
During the exhibition, a performance based dialogue between Rahat, choreographer and dancer Oryan Yohanan and harp player and composer Adaya Godlevsky, took place in the exhibition space. The performance stretches the boundaries of the medium, and creates in itself, as it were, a three headed chimera of artists. It continues to a large degree the theme of the drawings in the exhibition. Torn body parts made of threads by Rahat are being integrated with the dancer's body along the performance, as she uses it as a drawing tool in the gallery space. The strings of the harp echo the thread works as well, which are incorporated into the harpist's performance as elements that produce the sound.
Assaf Rahat, born 1970, is a graduate of the Midrasha School of Art in Beit Berl (1994-1998). Rahat exhibited in many solo shows and participated in numerous group shows, among them are Ashdod Museum of Art, 2011 (curator: Aya Luria), the 4th Biennale for drawing, 2010 (curator: Tami Katz-Freiman) the exhibition 'BoysCraft' in Haifa Museum, 2007 (curator: Tami Katz-Freiman), and the Yanko-Dada museum, Ein- Hod, 2003 (curator: Raya Zommer). He is the recipient of the Artist-Teacher Award, The Israeli Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport for 2006. His opt for unconventional materials, using twine, sewing threads and plastic glue, industrial masking-tape, ink and water colors, results in expressive, disturbing and full of emotion works of art.
Adaya Godlevsky- As an interdisciplinary artist, Adaya uses the harp as her main motif across several artistic activities such as music composition, performance, directing, singing and creating artistic collaborations with artists from different fields. Adaya's musical abilities range from the classical to the experimental and improvisatory, and include composing poetry, playing the harp and singing. Her multidisciplinary activity can be seen and heard on a variety of platforms, in Israel and abroad.
Oryan Yohanan- Born in Jerusalem 1985, Oryan is a multidisciplinary artist, improvisation performer, body-movement explorer and teacher. Dancing since the age of six, she graduated from the Jerusalem High School for Music and Dance in 2003, won the first prize at the "Mia Arbatova ballet competition" 2002, was a principal dancer in Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (2006-2010), and danced in "The Project" company (2010-2011) as main dancer. Since 2011 Oryan works as a freelance dancer with choreographers such as- Sahar Azimi, Gili Navot, Idit Herman and Clipa Theatre, Maya Yogel, Dana Ruttenberg, Elad Shecter, Dafi Altbeb and more. Her recent work "No Blood Relation ever", a duet created part of "Zirat Machol Festival 2014" will show again in Suzzane Dellal center during October and November.
Exhibition text- Hebrew
Artist talk and Performance Based Dialogue at Assaf Rahat's Solo Exhibition "Chimera" Opening at Chelouche Gallery, 15.11.14