Expression Obsession Connection: group show

8 April - 20 May 2022

The group exhibition EXPRESSION OBSESSION CONNECTION will present selected works by Israeli and International artists. The works displayed in the exhibition deal with representations of the body through a multiplicity of points of view, colors and mediums.

Featured artists: David Adika, Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Cyrus Kabiru, Wycliffe Mundopa, Jacob Mishori, Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, Ruth Patir, Mary Sibande, Christopher Udemezue and Anna Yam.

  • Expression Obsession Connection

    Wycliffe Mundopa, The Imperatives of Power, 2019, Oil on canvas, 177x247 cm
  • Mishori’s early works deal with sexual identity mostly through the artist’s self-portrait, and are closely linked to the artifice of pop culture, rock & roll and glossy magazines. In the past 20 years or so, the artist’s activity has evolved from self-portrait to the portrait of painting. The works range from sensual, warm and personal which may be perceived as expressive, to the geometrical which may be perceived as decorative or estranged. Two traditional approaches which the artist disputes and renders untraditional.


    The artist demonstrates a free-flowing process between styles and genres, breaking with traditions on the definition of beauty in art. Mishori’s work can easily be exhibited in a white gallery space, but the artist’s fantasy is that his work will be shown in beauty shops, side by side with cosmetic posters and life style products.

     

    Since the beginning of the 1980s, the feeling of Israeli Art closing in on itself cracked, and connections between artists and international art centers became available and accessible. The local artists who worked during that decade tried to liberate themselves from inhibitions and pursued a more complex internal artistic dialogue. Art was no longer satisfied with mere conceptual values, and thus took again an interest in the aesthetic values of painting and the importance of the object.

     

    The international art scene of the early 1980s was characterized by an absolute freedom of expression. That spirit of youth, passion and innovativeness pervaded Mishori’s paintings in a natural, spontaneous and unrestrained manner. His work expressed the energy of absolute liberation on the one hand, and a phenomenal mastery of techniques, color use, structure and contents, on the other. His paintings had the flagrancy of sexy nonchalance, but remained true and loyal to their position. His intuitive ability to identify cultural-artistic trends ahead of time, to remain alert and to react swiftly shows his intellectual sophistication and suggests a seemingly super-natural potential to be in different places at the same time.

     

    Although his work is the product of the place, the culture and the society in which he lives and works, it has nonetheless the inherent ability to rise above the local experience and become detached from any context in place and/or time. Thus local and universal meanings coexist side by side.

  • Born and raised in Mbare, Nyaude works against the sweeping identity that has been defined by the voice of the...

    Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, May Flights of Fance, 2019,  Oil on canvas, 210x210 cm

    Born and raised in Mbare, Nyaude works against the sweeping identity that has been defined by the voice of the state. His images oscillate between figuration, abstraction and hallucination, drawing from the restless energy of the ghetto. Living on the verge between survival and demise has been somewhat of a call to poetry, at times proving brutal and at others sentimental or cynically satirical. His figures defy characterization, underscored by the humanity of their quest to attain a quality of life that appears even beyond the reach of dreams.

  • Wycliffe Mundopa's works serve as an opportunity to see how painfully and vibrantly women’s lives reflect the conflicts of tradition...

    Wycliffe Mundopa, The Imperatives of Power, 2019, Oil on canvas, 177x247 cm

    Wycliffe Mundopa's works serve as an opportunity to see how painfully and vibrantly women’s lives reflect the conflicts of tradition and change of life in contemporary life in Zimbabwe, from the clash of moral codes to the economic strain, which makes children into adults too soon. He presents people without adornment or judgment – the mothers, the prostitutes, the caregivers, the breadwinners, the beautiful and the ugly, the selfish and the greedy.

  • Working with all queer models, Christopher Udemezue’s photographs reframe Caribbean and African American history through poetic explorations of historical events,...

    Christopher Udemezue, Untitled (Taken by the loa with a knife in her hand, she cut the throat of a pig and they all swore to kill all the whites on the island), 2001, Digital print, 91.44x121.92 cm

    Working with all queer models, Christopher Udemezue’s photographs reframe Caribbean and African American history through poetic explorations of historical events, folklore, and oral histories interweaving them with his own dreams and imaginings. The scenes and stories depicted traverse historical and geographic borders while addressing questions of political resistance, trans-cultural entanglement, liberation, and the black diaspora. Lovers, dreamers, friends, family, healers, worshipers, are seen alongside historical figures, leaders who played brave and significant roles in the liberation of enslaved people throughout Carribean history.

     

    Untitled (Taken by the loa with a knife in her hand, she cut the throat of a pig and the all swore to kill all the whites on the island) depicts vodou priestess Cécile Fatiman (1771 – 1883) presiding over a ceremony at Bois Caïman (‘Alligator Forest’), which considered to be one of the starting points of the Haitian Revolution.

  • Mother & Child (Victoria “Abdaraya Toya” Montou & Jean-Kacques Dessalines) is a tender portrayal of a young man kneeling with...

    Christopher Udemezue, Mother and child: Sit with me (Victoria Abdaraya Toya Montou & Jean-Jacques Dessalines), 2021, Digital print, 121.92 x 91.44 cm

    Mother & Child (Victoria “Abdaraya Toya” Montou & Jean-Kacques Dessalines) is a tender portrayal of a young man kneeling with a woman warrior. One of the few women who commanded soldiers during the slave rebellions, Montou is also remembered for her role in raising and teaching Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti under the 1805 constitution.

  • Mary Sibande, The Admiration of the Purple Figure, 2013, Archival Digital Print, 150x110.5 cm Mary Sibande, The Admiration of the Purple Figure, 2013, Archival Digital Print, 150x110.5 cm

    Mary Sibande often uses her alter ego Sophie, a life-size sculpture made in Sibande’s likeness, to explore the reclamation of the Black female body post-apartheid and rewrite her family legacy as domestic workers. Sibande’s passion for fashion design inspired her to use clothing, and the body itself, as a site to contest history and explore fantasies through Sophie’s eyes, which are always closed. By placing Sophie in a flowing Victorian gown or having her knit a Superman cape, Sibande questions the lasting subjugation of domestic workers.

    For The admiration of the purple figure, Mary Sibande created a multitude of fabric creatures: abstract manifestations of the creative force of Sophie, Sibande’s avatar, in her purple phase. The figures are gathered around her, admiring her, and yet they are also connected to her, part of her, as if by umbilical cords.

    • David Adika, Untitled (figurine, 'Mizrachi', no. 009 Back), 2020, from a “Black Market”, Inkjet Print, 132x162 cm

      David Adika, Untitled (figurine, 'Mizrachi', no. 009 Back)2020, from a “Black Market”, Inkjet Print, 132x162 cm

    • David Adika, Untitled (figurine, 'Mizrachi', no. 009 Front), 2020, from a “Black Market”, Inkjet Print, 132x162 cm

      David Adika, Untitled (figurine, 'Mizrachi', no. 009 Front), 2020, from a “Black Market”, Inkjet Print, 132x162 cm

  • Adika’s black figurines are placed somewhere between that which is tribal, savage, and sexual, and might be perceived as having magic or healing powers. Set in the studio, the objects are photographed under the beneficial circumstances of natural light. The visual result of Adika’s photographic acts alongside the nature of their installation and reformation as contemporary objects[2], all together stress their questionable array of contexts from which they stem, and their purpose.

     

    In his search for local and cultural symbolism in various time periods through the dissonance that exists between object production and the tragic-iconic load they carry, and through questions of cultural appropriation and visual expressions, Adika is concerned with the evolution of terms such as “taste”, “definition”, “society”, and their ever-changing relevance. Drawing from the rich weaves of the history of objects, David Adika’s Black Market series constitutes yet another testament to the thicket in the production of identity and cultural and geo-political boundaries.

  • Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Seance, 2022, Fabric, Photograph, Metal, 35x52x27 cm

    Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Seance, 2022, Fabric, Photograph, Metal, 35x52x27 cm

  • Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Hoops, 2019, Fabric, Metal, Wood, 40x28x20 cm

    Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Hoops, 2019, Fabric, Metal, Wood, 40x28x20 cm

  • Balabin and Kamel have worked together since 2013. Their interdisciplinary work shifts from different techniques and practices, from hand-sewing hybrid figures, to sculpture, drawing, painting, and site-specific installations. Their research investigates human society and modern culture through a provocative yet ironic practice - sometimes surrealistic and folkloristic, other times more critical and serious - that focuses on gender issues, sexuality, power and control, and represents fears, weaknesses and desires of our contemporaneity.

  • Navigating through chaos and stillness, Anna Yam's photographs explore the spaces between the familiar and unfamiliar and belonging and being...

    Anna Yam, Untitled, 2005, Color Print, 77x105 cm

    Navigating through chaos and stillness, Anna Yam's photographs explore the spaces between the familiar and unfamiliar and belonging and being set apart. Her photographs lie somewhere between autobiography and fiction, using this intimate space to explore collective experiences. The biography is not a platform but rather the subject of dealing with being in between places.

  • Ruth Patir is a multimedia artist and filmmaker whose works deal with gender paradigms and power relations, often mixing historical...

    Ruth Patir, Nurse Station, 2021, Hospital nurse station, digital clay, MRI scan, variable dimensions

    Ruth Patir is a multimedia artist and filmmaker whose works deal with gender paradigms and power relations, often mixing historical and national narratives with the artist’s own autobiography. In her works, Patir expands the boundaries of representation in the digital age working against the gender and racial biases that populate the field of animation, 3d simulations and Artificial Intelligence. 

  • Cyrus Kabiru is perhaps best known for his C-STUNNERS, an ongoing series of works wherein the artist creates and wears artistic bifocals. The work sits itself between fashion, wearable art, performance, and one of a kind commodity objects. C- STUNNERS have a certain energy and playfulness that really captures the sensibility and attitude of a youth generation in Nairobi. They portray the aspiration of popular culture bling; they reflect the ingenuity and resourcefulness of people; the lenses provide a new filter giving a fresh perspective onto the world that we live in transforming the wearer not only in appearance but in mind frame as well.

  • Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Untitled, 2021, Engraving in aquarelle on paper, 56x75 cm

  • Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel, Untitled, 2019, Engraving in aquarelle on paper, 56x75 cm