Awry, 2011, installation view (1), Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv
Seven ambitious and bizarre sculptures, a series of surrealist preparatory sketches and an animation film consisting of Israeli military campaign ribbons comprise the exhibition “Awry” which spreads over the three storeys of the new Chelouche Gallery. Sigal Primor, who graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1987, quickly established her distinct position as an original, enigmatic and troubling artist, possessing a unique, clinical and meticulous sculptural language. Her works, characterised by especially high values of aesthetics and design, draw their formalistic logic from the history of modern art and sculpture (Russian Constructivism, Minimalism and Conceptualism), but their syntax is distinguished by a patently post-modernist baroque idiom.
One of the things immediately emerging from both her past and current works is that libidinal urge to achieve precise levels of execution and finish. The extreme pursuit of a perfect finish for every detail of the sculpture’s components competes with its absurdity, with its hybrid, opaque, mysterious and idiosyncratic character. Her sculptures are so intricate and so eye-catching, that any attempt to trace their origins may lead the viewer on a circular path, as if trapped in a Borgesian desert that, although it seems monotonous and desolate, turns out to be the labyrinth of labyrinths. The sandy trails lead to dunes, revealed as headless prehistoric animals, and to war machines frozen in the middle of an arrogant performance, and to an exaggerated catwalk a la Christian Dior. But it all starts with a chair which is also a school desk, a stylised, period collectible item, made of wood and iron.
Army and education, dinosaurs and ball gowns. These are raised onto steel, wood and Formica platforms and attached to geometric Nirosta items… The relatively large sculptures exude an awkward, almost clumsy air, and some kind of indifference to the space around them. The living and temporal spaces are contained/imprisoned in them as in stone.
The viewer entering the colony of imaginary creatures developed by Primor from a combination of materials, structures, images and forms, may feel a wonder which brings to mind a refreshing encounter with animals/machines lying still as if frozen in time. The tensions and clashes between some presumed inner logic and instances of groundlessness and anomaly are assimilated into this sculpture, yet each line and mark wishes to shout that something in the way things become unified in this reality produces situations of absurdity, ridicule, taxidermy and castration… Something here is “Awry”.
Curator: Naomi Aviv
Sigal Primor –Ending the Art of Repression
By Ellie Armon Azoulai on Haaretz | 3 February 2011
Machines of a Lost Masculinity
By Uzi Zur on Haaretz | 18 February 2011
Opening at Chelouche Gallery, 03.02.11
Gallery Talk with Sigal Primor and Naomi Aviv, 19.02.11