You're Speaking My Language, 2006, mixed media, variable sizes, installation view (1), Chelouche Gallrey, Tel Aviv
In this exhibition Nir Alon has created an installation named „You’re speaking my language“, assembled from furniture hanging in the air and an infrastructure of light-bulbs and electricity wires spread throughout the gallery floor. This installation is continuing a line of installations showed by Alon during the past two years in which he deals with his position in the culture and society he lives in: beginning in his show „In case of leftovers” (which took place 2005 at Sebastian Fath Contemporary in Mannheim) and continuing in the exhibition “we just make a trip” (Appel Gallery, Frankfurt a.M, 2006). In both of this shows Alon exhibited installations made of touched-hanged furniture, in a very delicate balance, and a field of burning light bulbs on the floor. At „In case of leftovers” Alon dealt with the way the German society treats with him – a leftover of a lost and forgotten culture. As such he carries leftovers of language and culture, humor and cultural distinctions that seems belong to bought sides. at „we just make a trip” the artist dealt with definitions and patterns (linguistic and behavior as well) he is belonged with: the title of the installation refers in two sides: in one hand light – like: “look, we just make a trip together” and in the other hand a very serious: “in every journey that we will make together, we will always remember who you are and who I am”.
In the exhibition „You’re speaking my language“ Alon deals with another side of this subject: As Israeli he approaching his Israeli audience in search of the common ground missing for an alien subject in a strange county. The deep meaning of it is he and his audience understands each other both in a verbal and a behavioral way. One can see it as an invocation for belonging. A deeper look uncovers a gap. Language-wise, after five years Alon's Hebrew sounds a little bit “old”, not up to date. The everyday language, ever-changing and reinvented, did not afresh itself for Alon.
And in his visual language, his art, as Alon has always been a bit exceptional in the Israeli art scene, after five years of activity in Germany shows mainly the on-growing gap. Moreover, the touched-hanged furniture, the net of electric cables and burning light bulbs refers mainly to a great danger. In a moment it collapse, and the base of the common knowledge – that the artist and his audience are really speaking the same “language”, “understand” each other and belong to the same “culture” – will vanish. As in the other two exhibitions, the artist is examining his relationships to the culture and society he lives in and puts himself as a member and a stranger at the same time.
In the exhibition the video We Just Make a Trip, created by Hans Stützer is featured. This video was created an interpretation on an installation by Nir Alon in the Appel Gallery, Frankfurt a.M.
Nir Alon, who lives and works since 2001 in Germany, exhibited in the last years about 20 one-person shows, and took part in many group exhibitions. His art works, drawings, objects and installations are in several collections in Europe and lately also in USA.
In the making of this text helped Mr. Sven Nummensen of the Kunstverein Buchholz, Germany.