Many of my sculptures and installations being on-site projects use space as a lens to reflect a diversity of forms, place and a concern for intercultural issues. My work has an interventionist strategy where environment plays an important role in memory, identity, displacement, migration and recycling. Conceptually no space is neutral as we always create language inside language.
For many years I have been working with suspended forms and loops that use the ceiling as the principle place of presentation questioning the dominance of the floors and walls. Each installation uses materials that the viewer can touch, such as fabric, rubber, vinyl, found objects, paper, elastic, polymers and toys. Motion is created by looping, wrapping, hanging and spinning to camouflage the objects identity and communicate time. It is a mapping process, which explores the objects topography and spatial position. They are assemblages, which incorporate intercultural references with found objects that are recycled from different cultures. The feeling of sculptural handmade contact is part of my works’ conceptual and emotional tactility as a means of production. This is a reflection of cultural otherness, diversity and the challenge between high-tech and low-tech social subdivisions in a local and global world.
Expressive Systems. Loop curtains and Cultural Constructs 2010-2011
– Drawing System:
Most recently I have been working with large and small-scale loop structures, which are derived from the wrapping and movement around objects. The loops are extensions circulating around 3 dimensional points in space. Working from the ceiling each point represented is a vertical line. When flat on the floor or wall they become drawing sequences, a continuous movement of interconnecting loops in which “the longest distance between two points is a curved line.” The play between negative and positive space and variations in a system of curves, connects scale, speed, time, space and expression. The sculptures are perforated curtains with architectural rhythmic sequences. Optically, they create linear patterns, mirroring light within the holes, opening shadows and creating a translucency. Conceptually I focused on the linear syntax and fractile structure. The sculptural space, its affect, is framed by the architecture around it as in oriental screen wall constructions. I am currently experimenting with color and different materials such as polyester fabrics, laminated paper, polyethylene rubbers and canvas with polymers. In the future I will use acrylics and metals and employ industrial laser cutting techniques
In Loop Curtain in the City Museum in Ljubljana a 5 x 6 meters made of paper is suspended between two 19th century arches in the museum entrance backed by a courtyard. It is visible through a glass paneling on one side and the entrance hall on the other. It has vellum backing with a printed black loop drawing giving it calligraphic translucency and 3 dimensional contrast. Mirror Speculum (6x7 meters) 2011, is a portable curtain in 5 parts made from plastic laminated paper in an industrial warehouse space seen in Studio View (2011) with Kind of Blue (2009-2010) a freestanding, three-dimensional loop assemblage on the floor made from cardboard and polymer.
Color and light is explored with Indian Head and Loop Configuration 2012 seen at Plan D in Düsseldorf along with Window Rhizome and Loop Lamp Suspenders 2012.
Along with my cut-outs, assemblages and mobiles I have been working on a series of small bronzes. These works show open and closed compositional variations in the use of loops and wrapping concepts. They are presented in a serial form, in relation to each and as selective maquettes for enlargements.
In the Gouda Museum for the Nederlands1 exposition, five of my works reflecting multicultural identity are juxtaposed to the 15th-16th century religious paintings from the permanent collection in the chapel. These works form an allegory mirroring everyday life in Amsterdam as a pop and intercultural experience. They are contrasted to the Christian typology, white homogeneity and the way minority figures are represented in the paintings. The Messenger is a loop made of swimming noodles in the shape of an angel stuck together with toothpicks. Un-natural Selection comments on social Darwinism and is made of a toy monkey covered in black polymers with a head set on, standing on a garbage can in front of a nativity scene. Paper Slipper Conference mirrors hard edge painting using Japanese paper slippers on bedsprings, attached to a school board placed on an easel, mixing cultures.
Other works are Umm, Mother, in Arabic (also seen in Gouda Museum hanging above the crucifixion painting) is a hovering galabia, (bedouin ceremonial dress) with kitchen utensils rapped in black elastic. It refers to the feeling of uncertainty of mothers in Islamic society confronted by western traditions. It is juxtaposed to Abba (2011) ‘Father, as a pendant (male- female motif) where black rapped objects, loop cut outs and strings connect to a rowing ore referring to forced migrations and boat people fleeing conflicts. Other works in the group such as Bedouin Topographies (2011) continue this theme of migration and displacement with an embroidered curtain from chest pieces of traditional Bedouin dresses used as a topographical landscape of absence and a portrait of place. Convivencia (2012) is a 6 meter loop pattern cut through burlap and coated with polymers. It suggest a mozarabic mosaic through the use of transparent polyester fabric which creates Morae patterns and simulates stained glass. It is made as a migratory object, which can be rolled and moved from place to place. These works, along with Mop Till You Drop and Passport are currently on exhibition at Hotel de Inmigrantes – Cosmopolitan Stranger, as part of Manifesta in Hasselt Belgium.
Other new works (2010) such as Another Indian Rope Trick (2011) 3.5 meters high uses ropes made of recycled candy rappers from Delhi India and polyester cloth to create a hard edge watercolor monument or new Indian Gate.
China Syndrome (2010) 8 meters is made from a red Chinese lantern with polyethylene strings andrubber loops hanging 7 meters from the ceiling.
These works form a diverse intercultural grouping dealing with Middle Eastern and Asian topics. They are migratory and as material assemblages are formed slowly as a bricollage of found images, creating dialogue, space, context and identity.
This concept of travel dialogues is also evident in my photo series Joe Goes Around the World. He is a 1964 GI Joe custom made into a cowboy in my childhood in the 60’s.He is photographed in over 30 countries as an interactive photo performance questioning the identity of American culture juxtaposing the world as your back yard.
As a Jewish immigrant, I have been confronted and concerned with the complex hybrid identity of the postwar diaspora in Europe. In my work this is connected to absence and presence as memory, otherness and cultural disappearance. In Rain (2009) wrapped objects in silver thread hang and form a transparent matrix in a hidden interior bunker space at the NDSM terrain in Amsterdam. The work creates a suspended domestic scene where the objects can be touched and spin to disappear. Satellite for Backyard Avantguard (2010) is a [mobile extension of rain].
This concern for memory is also seen in my wax emulsion memory prints, entitled NY Meltdown. exhibited with Amsterdam images in the exhibition Retour, at House Frankendael 2010. I have used this technique to do large on-site photo projects at the Portuguese synagogue and earlier the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam. I have been working on a large series of photos of NY, which became connected to the financial crises and 9-11 changes since 2001. The boiled photos are optically connected to the loop structures as a perceptual system, which forms multiple elliptical viewing points in space.