About the work by Michal Shamir Wall Wound
in the exhibition “strait lines will never meet” Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art May 2004
Details of the work: Wall Wound, a wall piece made out of gummy candy. Measurements by photograph are length 120 cm, width 40 cm and depth 30 cm. other measurements are possible according to the needed space. Exhibited in the gallery on May 2004, and will be exhibited again on May 2005 in the exhibition “The Hebrews”, at the Martin Gurpius Bhau, in Berlin.
Michal Shamir’s Wall Wound places a three dimensional close up of Jesus’ wound- stuffed with gummy candy shaped like snakes and worms- dug into a wall, as a scratch refusing to cicatrize.
The work deals with the gaps between sweetness and pain and forms a direct and sardonic dialogue with art history. Death is a central theme in the piece where Shamir carries on her interesting and original pursuit of works assembled from candy. Inside the plaster wall Shamir created a bloody wound organized in the expected pattern as Jesus’ wound of the stigmata. The wound is renowned in art through the image of the incredulity of Saint Thomas, one of Jesus’ messengers that questioned the resurrection of his lord, and was instructed by Jesus to reach forward and touch his wound (for example, Caravaggio’s well known painting The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, 1601-02).
The modern analysis of the image emphasizes the hidden sexuality of the situation- penetration into something reminiscent of a female sexual organ- next to the pursuit of the context of faith and the human need for physical proof of its existence.
Shamir refers to these two approaches. When one looks at the work up close, absurd dough of gummies is visible, shaped like teeth, sunny side up eggs, snakes and more, melted together in a sickening mixture.
The ox sculpture by Michal Shamir was once a colorful, spectacular sculpture (created for the exhibition OverCraft, curator: Tami Katz-Freiman), covered with variegated, shiny gummy bears. For eight years it stood at the entrance of Ha’aretz’s offices on Shoken Street. There, it was exposed to the ravages of time which muddles its color and turned its flesh into a stale texture. Its life story and its current appearance serve as a reflection of our own lives on this side of the planet.