Fatamorgana: Illusion and Deception in Contemporary Art


ISBN: 965-7076-73-1


About the work “Untitled”, 2004-2006, in the catalogue: Fatamorgana: Illusion and Deception in Contemporary Art (Curator: Tami Katz-Freiman), Haifa Museum of Art, pp. 39-43.


Tal Amitai-Lavi, Untitled, 2004-2006,

Wood, nylon string, paint, 38X128X33 (Tal Amitai & Haimi Fenichel)


The work created jointly by Tal Amitai and Haimi Fenichel is a bookshelf composed of nylon strings and set inside a niche. The decision to “sculpt” a bookshelf by means of a labor-intensive work process, which involved the stretching and tying of thousands of extremely thin, transparent strings, is also characteristic of the works created individually by these two artists. Their respective works involve a significant investment of time, a penchant for details and an ability to transform quotidian, unglamorous materials. The bookshelf – an object that belongs to the private and intimate domestic sphere – acquires a new meaning when it is treated in this manner and integrated into the public sphere of the museum. In this context, it functions as a marker, as the trace of an object or a drawing in space, while the books lose their physical presence and appear like ethereal x-rays that consist only of a cultural memory and a spiritual charge. The observation of this work may involve thoughts concerning the concepts of collecting, conservation, organization, categorization, order and disorder, composition, materiality, metaphysics, presence and absence. The work is charged with a new kind of deceptive magic, which filters through the semi-illuminated nylon strings.



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