Polynomos / Tami Katz-Frieman

Male sexual organs also star in Yael Yudkovik’s floor installation, Polynomos. A crowded collection of phallic structures thrusting upward like towers, of different textures and heights. The general impression is of a fantastic glacial landscape, a kind of continent, island, or puddle with imaginary bodies thrusting out of it. The objects are made of baked clay dipped in whitewash, painted a sickly shade of green. With laborious and patient handwork Yudkovik pierces the flesh-like clay with her fingers. The gouging, the hole-making, and the piercing is done in a monotonous cyclical rhythm, until a dense, intense surface is created. The strategy she has chosen – to produce a phallus pierced, sieve-like, and thus to negate its centrality and completeness (and even make it female), gives new interpretations to Freud and Lacan, formulating a different, androgynous sexuality, beyond the normative division of gender differences. It seems that even the most aggressive image – the ultimate signifier – has a hole in it (many holes).

Polynomos, 2003 (OverCraft) – Obsession, Decoration and Biting Beauty
Clay, lime, pigment
The Art Gallery, University of Haifa and Artists’ House, Tel-Aviv
Bandmann Collection, Tokyo

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