April 16 – May 15, 2010
Private Preview April 15, 6-8pm
Artists: Maya Attoun, Michal Helfman, Nogah Engler, Know Hope, Yochai Matos, Naama Tsabar and Mika Rottenberg
"Very little of the groundbreaking art created in Israel in the last decade responded directly to [the political unrest], either because artists felt powerless to change a harsh reality, or because they chose to adopt a universalist stance in an attempt to rise above the purely local." (Amitai Mendelsohn, Real Time: Art in Israel: 1998-2008, 2008).
The first ever exhibition in the UK devoted to contemporary art from Tel Aviv will open on April 16 at 33–34 Hoxton Square. Examining one of the most interesting, yet unexplored, groups of practicing artists today, JaffaCakesTLV will showcase works by seven artists who are inspired by the diversity and vibrancy of modern-day Tel Aviv. Although artists from Tel Aviv have started to gain attention in the United States and Europe, they have not been shown as a group in the UK until now.
Entitling the show after the well-loved biscuits is a play on words. Its familiarity provides the perfect combination of mundane and mischievous, yet it references a geographical location. Jaffa, one of the oldest ports in the world has become the centre of Israel's fringe culture; it is youthful, daring and avant-garde. Like Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a city of contradictions, the works in JaffaCakesTLV are beguiling; a multitude of layers slowly reveals an underlying sense of mystery and fantasy.
The exhibition is inspired by renowned short story writer and Camera D'Or winner Etgar Keret. His stories "fuse the banal with the surreal, shot through with a dark, tragicomic sensibility and casual, comicstrip violence.” (The Observer, 13th February 2005). Within the recognisable streets and neighborhoods of Tel Aviv, Keret depicts conventional modern life with injections of irregularity that lead its viewers to question their preconceived notions of reality. The catalogue will feature a short story by Etgar Keret while the artists on show explore and reflect this notion of the uncanny in their work.
Recent installations by Maya Attoun use lines as a method of mapping the relationships between the internal and external, the body and space, and the errors that create the movement between them. A pattern and a formula are created through an intuitive chart of movement between the borders of these coexisting systems.
Video and sculptural works by Michal Helfman change the context of traditionally recognisable spaces and objects to expose the duality of a subject, suddenly revealing a hidden truth with a jolt.
Within Nogah Engler's paintings, passages are spatially definite and meticulously worked out, bleeding into areas that seem nebulous, deceptive and confusing. The viewer moves from one familiar setting to another as if in a dream, by ways mysterious and baffling, a sense of anxiety prevails.
Street artist Know Hope's whimsical personifications of urban objects often include cryptic messages, veering toward solemnity. Site-specific installations bring his temporary 3-D cardboard “character” to life as it interacts physically with its surroundings.
A specially commissioned fluorescent light installation by Yochai Matos alters the function of fluorescent tubes. By arranging them in different formations and injecting colour and paint, the use of these familiar objects must be reassessed.
Naama Tsabar is an installation and performance artist. Using every day materials such as musical instruments and expensive bottles of alcohol she forms experiential and conceptually charged installations, exploring questions of power, eroticism, gender and memory.
Mika Rottenberg creates works in which bodies and systems of production become starting points for elaborate fantasies. The female body is envisioned as a microcosm of larger societal issues such as labor and class inequities. In her short films, women perform perfunctory factory-line duties, manufacturing inane items worth less than the labor required to make them.
About the curators:
For more information, images and artists CVs please email info@jaffacakesTLV.com