Curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg and Thierry Ollat
Palazzo Zenobio, Dorsoduro 2596 – 30124 Venezia
Opening: Friday, 03.06.2011, 19:00 – 22:00
Gal Weinstein, Petra, 2011, steel wool rusted in water
Gal Weinstein, Nahalal, 2011, wood, wall to wall carpet and artificial turf
Nahalal is a Workers\' Cooperative Settlement in the north of the Jezreel Valley and was the first Workers\' Cooperative Settlement in Israel. Unlike the Kibbutz society in the Cooperative Settlement they kept the privacy of the individual and the family unit. The settlement became one of the outstanding symbols of Zionist settlement in Israel, of a loaded view, of an Israeli brand and of an ideal. Nahalal is famous for its circular shape, as seen from a bird‟s eye view, and was planned by the architect Richard Kauffman. A circular road surrounds Nahalal Centre while situated at the road‟s outer perimeter are agricultural farms spaced adjacent to one another, producing a sort of “rays of the sun” form.
The Nahalal work – like the Jezreel Valley was created in wall to wall carpets, a synthetic substance, the derivative of an industrial logic for economical production – which are absolutely typical of machine made products as opposed to hand made. The name of the material reflects the location in which it is intended to be, in between walls – not outside. As time went by two acrylan clouds were added to the Nahalal piece – I called it Nahalal – Partly Cloudy. The clouds reflect the essence of the planning of Nahalal (the rays of the sun) and also to the expression known to us from the weather forecast “partly cloudy”. An expression that reflects a state of transition, not absolute and not limited, an extensive range of cloudy situations. This can be perceived as a concrete expression, dry and laconic (similar to the material essence of wall to wall carpets), forecasting the weather, but also as metaphorical to an emotional state.
A weather forecast is the analysis of the meteorological conditions in a specific area in order to foretell the weather, which is aimed at forecasting the future but is based on a mechanical logic and shows a cultural ability to control and understand nature. The expression “partly cloudy” reflects, perhaps, the limitations of this ability because in its essence it is an unclear state. There is the ability but there is no clarity. The decision to create Nahalal as a continuation to the piece “Jezreel ” derives, amongst other things, from the memory of the settlement as a form. An image sculpted in the Israeli collective memory with the help of its form and is clearly distinct from its surroundings. A fact that brought about the transition from installation to sculpture.
If Nahalal is an iconic image, remembered partly for its borders, then Petra is an iconic image that represented for Israel in the 1950\'s, the walking beyond the borders – the borders being an artificial and external perception. Petra‟s name in Hebrew is „The Red Rock‟ named for its burial temple carved in the sandstone of the red mountains. At the beginning of the 1950\'s in the 20th century many young people in Israel tried to cross the border in order to see Petra with their own eyes. Most of them did not come back alive. The ancient city became the focus of attraction and fascination for adventure. Unlike Nahalal which represents the longing for holding onto the land, for permanent settlement, and the tranquil routines that comes with it, the journey to Petra represented the desire to journey to the out of the ordinary, the magical, and the danger that comes with it.
The drawing “Petra” is made of steel wool that has been rusted in water so that the red color is a result of a reaction process between two elements – water and steel wool. The sculpture “Nahalal” is made of wall to wall carpets. The two works try, with the help of industrial and synthetic materials to “bring to life” sentimental images from the Israeli culture. Bring to life in the sense of an attempt to replace sentimental feelings that related to a memory that “touches you” in the emotional sense, to a curiosity to touch the works tangibly. From a memory of what you fantasized, to a physical presence of what is in front of you.