helena rubenstein pavillon

Gallery Adventures #3

A few weeks back i passed the Helena Rubinstein pavilion and i was shocked to see a scaffold on its roof.

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Building sites are part of the city scape, and Tel Aviv without building sites wouldn't be Tel Aviv, but adding additional floors to this beautiful pavilion built in the 50ies...really?
And w.t.f.....the thing is collapsing...oh, wait...
Shai Ratner's "Monument" is intending to make viewers feel exactly that. So simple but also so smart and complex. Today i got to see the exhibition inside the pavilion and together with Ohad's friday evening meal, it was definitely the highlight of this day. "Workspace" is an exhibition based around the theme of the work space.
I was really impressed by the pieces of Roy Mordechay balancing between carpentry and art, influenced by his relationship with his father who is a carpenter. I felt close to Roy's work, even though my father doesn't own a carpentry and didn't loose a finger in the workshop. I feel myself designer and carpenter at the same time, and i like the poetry that Roy shows between the two, the down to earth side and the floating abstract one. Roy's work is like listening to a conversation between those worlds. The wooden model of Roy's father's Subaru car, that stands as a central piece in the room is a piece of perfect craftsmanship, a masterpiece of carpentry and yet an object completely free of any kind of functionality. It reminded me a bit of Richard Artschwager...

Reut Fester's work also has a deep connection to her family and to the store that her family owns. This store, which is also home to her studio, is omnipresent in her work. I really liked the video "Sagi", that documents her brother's wish to become an artist himself and ends by showing him as a living readymade. In the entrance of the exhibition, Reut built a small store, "Knoller - Helena Rubinstein Branch" where she is selling little pieces and ready mades.

Meir Tati's piece "Sharashka" is filling the whole upper floor of the pavilion and reconstructs a labor camp inspired by a russian gulag. The walls are filled with paintings that remind of graffiti art and on a big screen, Tati shows himself wearing a yellow mask, wandering around the premises of the russian camp in the snow. I felt a disturbing closeness and at the same time distance when walking through the labyrinth of rooms of sharashka. The description of the work says: "The choice of the Gulag as a workspace by an Israeli artist may seem somewhat puzzling. Nevertheless, pursuing a history which is distant in terms of both time and space may, in fact, be liberating.Engagement with the story of the other by borrowing a human catastrophe "not his own"enables Meir Tati to address broad subjects from disillusioned, more principled and less involved perspective: socialism, totalitarian regimes, tyranny, genocide, and the unbearable discrepancy between politics and a humanitarian-social leadership. All these project on  Jewish-historical events and on local scenarios taking place in the current era."

The exhibition is absolutely worth a visit. You can see it till Saturday 31 October 2015.