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Wall-Less

The second intifada has caused a deep crisis in Israeli society. Although several years have passed since the conflict became violent, the current intensive feeling is that we are now witnessing the visual expression of its cultural effects. Many artists have been engaged with images and metaphors deriving from the political, social and cultural crisis that erupted into the violent events of October 2000 and current events.

In her present exhibit, Tamar Dubrovsky addresses the concept of a physical separation fence or wall. She has constructed a huge work using the image of a wall composed of hand molded elements made of paper mounted on a metal mesh stretching from floor to ceiling, rising to a height of four-storeys. The structure creates both physical and metaphorical tension, similar to the liturgical poetic description as hanging by a thread. The act of severing of the metal cables supporting the entire system, scheduled for the exhibition's closing day, will collapse the entire structure. The fragility of Dubrovsky's wall, made of units of compacted paper mixed with construction adhesive, is clearly obvious to the naked eye, yet even so, the wall is no less threatening than actual walls separating countries, people and multi-ethnic neighborhoods, such as Jerusalem, Belfast or Berlin.

For the past seven years, Tamar Dubrovsky has been engaged in an exploration of the image of what she has called the "tangle." The extremely complex holistic systems that she portrays are made up of thousands of elongated paper elements brought together to form hanging structures, connected on grids and cables stretched between walls or floor to ceiling to create structures that change as the observer wanders through the exhibition space. "Wall-Less," her latest installation, is associated with a huge corpus. Its political-social -personal-aesthetic statement transmits contradictory messages of organic ease and exemplary order, on one hand, and primordial fear and overt threat on the other hand. Is its existence concrete or imaginary?

Dubrovsky creates and installs one-of-a-kind huge tangle, in a natural extension of her work with "entangled" images in the abstract and linear paintings she has made throughout her rich career. Dubrovsky's recent installations allow the spectator to enter into the work of art, as the two-dimensional painted lines familiar to us from her paintings and drawings take on concrete three-dimensional physical form. Walking through the abstract painting, as it were, intensifies and magnifies the experience of perceiving the work of art many times over. It is an experience of amorphous forms and a dreamlike feeling combined with the sensation of impending terror. Strolling under the huge mass of elongated elements becomes an emotional experience, as the observer senses that the mass may disintegrate at any moment.

A closer study of Dubrovsky's paintings and drawings offer a key to her two poles of dreaminess and terror. The colorful, energy-laden abstract paintings contrast with her-black series paintings, with their linear forms so cruelly torn from the paper. All of Dubrovsky's works are based on similar structured foundation, forming the vocabulary of her art: lines and connections. In each work, Dubrovsky examines these basic elements from a different perspective, using lines and connections to identify the mutability of artistic expression and the changing human perception of existence.

Dubrovsky's first "tangle" was exhibited in Musrara, Jerusalem in 1998, with a further developed version of the same elements shown at Hamumche Alternative Space in Neveh Tzedek, Tel Aviv, in 1999, as "Addition and Subtraction". The installation "The Web" was exhibited in Zagreb, Croatia in 2000 and "Sprouting - an Apocalyptic Field" in Rehovot in 2002. "Hanging" and "Black Hole" were exhibited in Kfar Sava in 2005, and now, in a sort of summing up of this chapter in Dubrovsky's art, the installation "Wall-Less" is being shown in Haifa in 2005.

Another series of exhibitions, installations and video art films is titled "Have you ever considered suicide?" which Dubrovsky created over the past two years in collaboration with artist Dov Or-Ner. All these exhibitions and installations focused on the issue of symbolic and real death or suicide, either individual or political - Death which leads to new sprouting. The destruction of the creative work at the moment the cables are cut will be a fitting image to the unfinished human experience of disengagement.

The image of disengagement in the installation "Wall-Less" is the liberation designed to free the open space for future works of art and lines yet to be built. The wall rising up of thousands of paper elements, mesh and cables, will be severed from its connections in one moment, and the entire construction, the huge wall, will fall to the floor of the exhibition hall in one moment, followed by all of its component elements being thrown out to oblivion. All of these are symbols of removing fences, of political disengagement, of throwing out the past to create possibilities for a new beginning.

Hagai Segev

 
 
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