Event Date: August 1st to September 23rd
Michelle C. Gevint, stills from: The Sweet Stench Of Sulfur, 2017, Single channel, 8:59
List of works, in order of appearance:
1. Michelle Claire Gevint
The Sweet Stench of Sulfur
8:59 minutes, 2017
2. Shahar Marcus
4:34 minutes, 2014
3. Shahar Marcus
4:00 minutes, 2006
4. Noam Toran
Objects for Lonely Men
07:44 minutes, 2001
5. Oren Lavie
Did You Really Say No? (Bedroom Crime #1)
4:18 minutes, 2017
6. Oren Lavie
Second-Hand Lover (Bedroom Crime #2)
4:00 minutes, 2018
7. Guy Goldstein
Silence Isn’t Very Much
40:00 minutes, 2018
“Walking Along the Lines” – Parallel’s first video art program – presented a series of video works that focused on articulating and exploring movement.
The current cycle, “Running in Circles” – on view from August 1st to September 23rd – embodies the theme of movement in its syntax; instead of obeying a strict thematic line, the works selected for this program are tied together associatively. Works with different styles, paces and themes come together in a circular game of tag, whereby one element from the first work is informing the selection of the next piece, which in turn gives way for another motif that is echoed in the following video, and so forth. The bathers and seascape of The Sweet Stench of Sulfur echo the man in a pool of oranges in The Orchard. The same figure then appears in Sabich, a piece that mocks the hypermasculine figure of the abstract expressionist artist. Similarly, masculinity is at the centre of Objects for Lonely Men, while its black-and-white aesthetic and cinematic qualities appear in the first and second parts of the Bedroom Crime Trilogy (entitled Did You Really Say No and Second-Hand Lover). The Sound and synchronized movement of Trilogy are transformed into an exploration of noise and disharmony both audially and visually in the monumental Silence Isn’t Very Much.
Michelle Claire Gevint’s 2017 The Sweet Stench of Sulfur is a meditative exploration that blends documentary, history, and fiction by merging the mythical and apocalyptic into what seems like fragments of a dream. It was filmed at the edges of the Dead Sea, where a geological phenomenon called sinkholes is exponentially forming and ‘swallowing’ man-made habitats due to rapid evaporation and climate change. Tying together the biblical story of the site with this current contemporary state, the video creates a visually alluring yet surrealist and eerie effect.
Shahar Marcus’ 2014 piece, The Orchard, presents the artist submerged in an outdoor pool filled with oranges, set in the middle of an orange grove. While he sits shoulder deep in the pool, he sings a variety of songs devoted to ironically expressing his state and mood as “golden”, a play on the traditional Hebrew name of the orange (translated literally as “golden apple”).
Marcus’s second work, entitled Sabich, shows an artist painting in his studio. The style of painting and the artist’s actions echo the seminal photos that recorded the famed American painter Jackson Pollock at work: images that cemented his status as the leading “action” painter of his day. But the artist in Sabich is mocking this overtly masculine construction of the painter as the all-American artist by replacing canvas and paints with the ingredients that make sabich – the traditional Mediterranean dish that gives this video its title.
Noam Toran’s 2001 Objects for Lonely Men also explores the theme of manhood through its cinematic representations. The video references New Wave French cinema – by quoting directly from Godard’s films – and Hollywood Film Noir, in a meditation on the props and rituals that construct one’s identity as masculine.
Two of Oren Lavie’s “Bedroom Crime” videos are on display, in a trilogy that examines the fragility of relationships. The two videos articulate the tension and distance leading to and following a breakup. In Did You Really Say No, the couple, played by the artist and the French singer-actor Vanessa Paradis, appear in the middle of an emotional fight. Their silences and latent anger is materialized by dancers who act out their emotions and fill the growing space between the couple.
The second Oren Lavie piece is entitled Second Hand Lover, where the term “second hand” is taken literally when looking at how past relationships impacts our present interactions. The idea of “second hand lover” is enacted by nine female dancers who populate the mental and actual space of the artist and follow him wherever he is, including into his new relationship.
Finally, Guy Goldstein, who, like Lavie, is an artist and a singer-song writer, uses his music in the making of Silence Isn’t Very Much. The work is a part of his ongoing research on the notion of “noise,” and explores the subject via different encounters between sound and image.