Call Me When You Wake Up, 2004, mixed media, installation view (1), Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv
Tova Lotan's works in this exhibition deal with different views of the family's portrait. Situated in the gallery space defining it as a domestic scene, and looked at from a clearly personal and distinctive point of view. The narrative, that of a daughter-woman-mother is an impossible effort to communicate, doomed to fail.
The various images are representations of personal items, among them are floor plan of the artist own home, herself's and her family members pictures taken from official documents, along with "transcripts" of conversations that never took place - embroidered into bed sheet and table clothes. Altogether a complex image of disintegration and reconstruction, of endless anticipations and wait mixed with realistic fragility and vulnerability.
The various objects are made in techniques usually related with domestic labor like sewing, embroidery on clothes or tablecloth, or children handcraft with beads melted together by an iron, once again representing the endless cycle of domestic routine, the cycle of destruction and reproduction.
The sewing, done with heavy duty black thread is shown from the back, revealing the "dirty" unfinished side, the usually hidden laborers side, creating an alternative aesthetics. Words and letters are heavily sewn into the cloth, blocking and making it unusable – it would not contain the body any more.
There are some photographic images, transformed to large plates, made of thousands of tiny beads of the kind children use for handcraft, melted together and forming a pixelized image. At first it looks uniform and homogeneous but then, at a closer look, the viewer can feel the imminent disintegration. The beads holes form a huge strainer- like structure made more of holes rather then solid surface.
Lotan's exhibition is all about the hopeless attempt to communicate both with a present or a non-present person. The various images are sewn and unpick, beads stick and split open, the communicating attempts soon fail quietly, the entire frame is vigorously built and falls apart again. All of these leave the viewer restless and unpleasantly overwhelmed.