Michal Shamir at the Ranch Gallery, Holon
Curator: Irit Carmon Poper
Opening: 05.06.09 at 11:00 am
Michal Shamir, Untitled, 2008, water colors and mixed media
Michal Shamir, Untitled, 2008, water colors
Screech – Hybrid “Insectoïd” Phenomena
HaChava Gallery for Ecological Inter Disciplinary Art, Holon
Participating artists: Hilla Ben Ari, Eli Gur Arie, Yoav Weiss, Eliezer Sonnenschein, David Lee, Roi Mordechai, Tomer Sapir, Aharon Ozery, Liran Raviv, Prof. Yehezkel Rivnay, Shony Rivnay, Michal Shamir
Curator: Irit Carmon Popper
The figure of Gregor in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, by encasing human consciousness inside an insect’s body, reflects a two-directional standpoint – society which feels repulsion to the insect is seen in its entire nakedness through the human insect’s eyes.
Since the beginning of time insects, endowed with unique abilities, have evoked ambivalent impressions. On one hand disgust as extremely repulsive and inferior, on the other hand admiration as the ultimatively superior organism in the sense of survival. This perceptional ambivalence towards the insect between threatening and intriguing, between primeval and futuristic, between disgusting and entomologic has produced various myths that draw upon this dialectic tension between extremes. State-of the-art biomechanics produces total hybridization of human/animal and mechanic elements acting as apocalyptic or utopistic science-fiction figures such as the violent and disturbing creatures of H.R.Geiger or the androids in Ridley Scott’s movie, “Blade Runner”. Simultaneously, applied science comes up with implantation of mechanic elements into human organs for medical purposes while nanotechnology uses minuscule organic elements in technological applications.
The exhibition presents various forms of “insectoïd” species. Features borrowed from living organisms resemble parts of animals or insects like antennae, wings or feet are accompanied by floral forms some like stems and some like petals. Others carry organic characteristics combined with mechanic elements and look like machines while shapes borrowed from nature have automatic, machinelike movements. All types move between organic and mechanic, between natural and artificial, between real and fantastic. They preserve to various degrees a double identity as if enjoying the deception in being either an organic machine or a mechanic animal.
Their hairy and slimy realism as well as their close-ups are mostly perceived as repulsive however, their bright glossiness is tempting and attractive in its colorful and renewed texture. Insects enable us, humans, to find our way to redemption through the sewers – those creatures who pre-empt our first ancestors and will possibly outlive us won’t allow us to dismiss them in sheer disgust. They hypnotize us by their attributes and allow artists to enhance their aesthetic and poetic qualities.