On Monday, September 24th at 6 p.m., Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch will open the third chapter of the project About Paper. Israeli Contemporary Art with a solo exhibition by Maya Zack entitled Made to Measure / videos and drawings.
The gallery hosts an installation looking like a sort of office that has been filled with paperwork, metal shelves and cardboard boxes, in order to partly recreate the setting that appears in the video Black and White Rule (2011), screened inside the installation itself. Maya Zack explores the relationship between video and drawing, which are often used in her works, giving her visual language a twofold function: in the video, the drawings are the practical tools used by the characters to measure things, and take the form of equations, archive images and diagrams. At the same time, the drawings on paper of various sizes exhibited in the gallery are meant to complete and extend the plot of the video, which therefore becomes both the signified and the signifier.
The perceptual distortion that blurs reality and representation is also emphasized by the exhibition of works on paper, which depict full-scale characters while they are measuring and examining the things that surround them. Their way of mapping and redefining space, in an almost obsessive fashion, causes a feeling of suspense in the spectator – an atmosphere that also pervades the video itself, which plays on the idea of a narrative pause that coincides with a moment of tension, in which characters once again perform very definite gestures.
The whole exhibition therefore focuses on the constant dialogue between the inside and the outside, between sense and nonsense, by creating real and fictitious environments that appear like cold, sterilized places filled with the presence/absence of humans.
In creating these works, Maya Zack started from the term “Tatort”, a German word that literally translates as “crime scene”. Here the word is interpreted in a wider sense, referring to a specific place in which something has happened. Thus the characters that people the drawings in the gallery, although in a state of “apparent death”, are actually investigators meditating on the ambiguous relationship between reality and its representation.
The gallery’s Project Room hosts Mother Economy (2007), a video where the artist stages her own personal strategy for developing an alternative kind of memory, which does not passively reproduce the past, but rather reworks and reinterprets it. Mother Economy, presented in 2008 at New York’s Jewish Museum, again looks into the solitary, compulsive gestures of a woman as she tries to measure several objects with almost scientific precision, in a home setting. The other family members, although absent, are evoked by the objects that people the home, while the diegetic audio of the radio helps evoke the historical context, in which a dramatically real chaos clashes with the apparently orderly, controlled space of the house.
Born in 1976, Maya Zack lives and works in Tel Aviv. She has exhibited in the most important museums of Israel (Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Museum of Art, Tel Aviv). Outside Israel, she presented her works at New York’s Jewish Museum and at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and is represented in the permanent collection of the latter. She has won several awards, including Berlin’s Celeste Kunstpreis, with Mother Economy (2008); the Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design of Jerusalem, with Living Room (2010); the 13th International Film Festival in Patras City, Greece, with Black and White Rule (2011). In 2011 she won the Idud Hayetzira Award, granted by the Israeli Ministry of Culture, as well as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Prize. Her works are represented in many private collections in England, France, Belgium, the US, and Israel.
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