Event Date: March through April 2020
List of works, in order of appearance:
1. ELHAM ROKNI
Crossing the Dune, 2010, 05:50 min.
2. GAL LESHEM
Trail, 2018, 03:51 min.
3. JUMAN DARAGHMEH
Endless, 2018, 08:26 min.
4. GAL LESHEM
These Stones, 2018, 12:21 min.
5. YARON ATAR
No Vacance, 2018, 07:02 min.
6. MAYA SAMIRA
Iran, 2013, 14:47 min.
Dead Ends, the latest program of video art at Parallel brings together works that explore the idea of a physical, emotional and/or psychological journey. Be it through the representation of unresolved conflict, the experience of a trip to a specific destination or one that leads to nowhere, or the notion of escaping one’s perceived reality, each piece articulates an expedition of some sort.
ELHAM ROKNI and GAL LESHEM both engage with the idea of Sisyphean effort, an attempt to achieve the impossible, even if the game is rigged from the onset. In ROKNI’s Crossing the Dune, a man attempts to transvers an enormous sandy sandbank on a bike. In order to achieve the absurd task, he uses planks of wood to create a path on which he might be able to cycle. Similarly, LESHEM’s Trail, three women build a bridge made of individual ceramic squares in order to pass a short distance. They then undo their creation when returning to their starting point. While ROKNI depicts an impossible ordeal, LESHEM’s seem pointless and absurd.
JUMAN DARAGHMEH’s Endless depicts the journey of a woman, only seen from her back, as she rapidly moves through a variety of landscapes. The urgency of her movement, the pace of her walk, alludes to the piece second title – Escape – and provides context for her actions.
These Stones by GAL LESHEM recounts stories of things and places past and of a lost world whose echoes only exist in the minds of those inhabited it. It is a symbolic journey via storytelling, which is visually supplemented by sculptural monuments juxtaposed with rocks being made and unmade into temporary structures.
In No Vacance, YARON ATAR depicts the simultaneous journey of two drivers. The first is standing still at an intersection, while the other speeds up in a similar landscape. The editing technique –the fast-paced transition from one to the other– suggests that they are on a collision course, and indeed the work ends when the speeding car crashes into the idling one, so that it is perfectly nestled in its rear.
MAYA SAMIRA’s piece shows two women of similar built and appearance as they push one another, an action which, despite their full exertion of power, maintains the two in their position. The title of the piece, Iran–Israel, takes this physical exercise into the realm of politics as the artist makes a commentary on the current state of affairs in the Middle East, suggesting that countries use their full force of intimidation to hold the other at bay, a level of force leads to a dead end.