Event Date: May and June 2019
Courtesy of Netta Laufer
List of works, in order of appearance:
1. Netta Laufer
Dying Myself, 2013, 30 min.
2. Efrat Vital
Allenby, 2015, 05:21 min.
3. Netta Laufer
Dying Myself into a Corner, 2012, 30:07 min.
4. Ronit Citri
Epilog, 2016, 03:27 min.
5. Ronit Citri
Shabbat Siren, 2016, 02:27 min.
The videos participating in this cycle of video art at Parallel revolve around ideas of describing and identifying landscapes. Landscapes have a long tradition in art as a genre where the political and aesthetic are deeply intertwined. The three female artists included in the cycle define the term broadly as they engage with different aspects of this representational traditions; at times it is the female body that is treated as a physical site, on other cases it is the pictorial plane that becomes a landscape. One video explores urban space, while two others examine the natural world, yet not as a sublime untouched territory by nature that is man-made.
Netta Laufer’s two videos—Dying Myself and Dying Myself into a Corner—were made as a pair as both pieces share the same blurred image and a similar narrative; in the first video the naked artist, found in an abstractly white landscape, is treating her body like a canvas and meticulously applies white paint on herself, until she blends into the background. In the second video she appears kneeling on a white surface which she gradually fills in with black paint, until she paints herself into an impasse. These two works appear metaphorical; the first aims at allowing the artist to hide in plain site, as she perfectly blends with her environment while the second gives concrete form to the idea of being stuck.
Efrat Vital’s Allenby is a 15-minute journey above one of the busiest streets of Tel-Aviv, yet since the film was shot above the hustle and bustle of traffic, the result is a meditative and slow journey which ignores street-level activity. As the artist reorients her physical position to this parallel elevated plane, the focus shifts onto the trees, traffic-light signals and sky, ending with the horizon line and a seascape.
Ronit Citri’s two works are videos pieces which appear as photographs, only subtle barely-decipherable movements suggest that we are looking at a live image of the landscape. Lone trees are at the centre of each piece; in Epilog the tree stands high above, overlooking a mountainous terrain, while in Shabbat Siren it is found on a plane, different from other elements in its immediate surrounding. The two works belong to a larger project by the artist’s which revolving around a murder that took place at the same site where she filmed her work. Here the landscape is laden with meaning, history, and painful memory, yet the quietness of the scene obscures these details.