The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan, Accompanied and curated by Ayelet Hashahar Cohen
First Friday Blog http://firstfridayisrael.blogspot.com/
Nimrod Gershoni presents, “does every tactic smell ?,” a video and sound installation, broadcast live through computer software and a time accumulator. The software, which was built especially for the installation, presents a live diagram that turns six films into a warehouse, randomly extracting and syncing infinite clips. The new editing creates a flickered reality produces and a cluster of contexts at any given moment and in any viewing space. The six films that comprise the sample from which the video is edited are: Wild at Heart by David Lynch (1990), Diary, Chapter 4 by David Perlov (1982), Dr. Strangeglove by Stanley Kubrick (1964), Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard (1965), Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch (1991), Flamenco by Carlos Saura (1995). Juxtaposed with these masterpieces directed by individuals who are lauded as path-breaking directors, Gershoni’s work questions the validity of their perceived excellence. The question of appropriation and the evaluation of modes of representation of cultural myths have been assimilated by each discussion of contemporary art, but Gershoni’s work raises new questions. Both the arrangement of the technology (the software and the hardware) over an enormous “podium” that becomes an object of presence in the museum lobby and the editing that disrupts the familiar orderliness of continuous and linear viewing, render the artist’s identity hybrid and raise the issue of invasive internet existence, which fosters addiction amongst conscious consumers.
Nimrod Gershoni’s work exists in the realm of personal art that signifies the meeting point between disturbance and attention, visual and scholarly work, self-awareness and exposure of the behind-the-scenes work. The work that is positioned as a monument (for its historic political associations) in the museum lobby draws attention to its raw materials, undermining itself by revealing its means of production. In the ongoing conversation between Nimrod and me, and in an attempt to understand the conflicts raised by his work, Nimrod says that his work begins from a theoretical starting point and the immediate connection to the software. He chooses the raw materials carefully but they are intuitively connected to his personal biography. He feels that technology is part of him and that the work grew out of not only his identification with the directors he admired but also from his acknowledgement of contemporary reality, which allows movement along and across time using a broad platform of avenues of representation.
To conclude, it is important to summarize four of the six films that are used as raw material in Gershoni’s work. I chose to summarize the films from information about them available on the Internet and hone in on a few points inasmuch as they are directly relevant to the context of Gershoni’s work.
In the film, Alphaville, Godard describes a future dominated by an alien computer called Alpha 60, which was built by a mysterious character. The hero of the film, a secret agent who goes by a pseudonym, embarks on search missions through time and destroys the monolithic rule with his heart and soul.
Wild at Heart, a creation by David Lynch, is a bizarre dazed journey to the heart of the depths of myths that constitute American society. The director tells a passionate love story reminiscent of Wizard of Oz and plays Elvis Presley songs. In addition to the brilliant use of Laura Dern and her mother in real life, Diane Laude, (they’re also mother and daughter in the film), Lynch casts leading actors with cult followings – such as Harry Dean Stanton, William Dafoe, and Isabella Rossellini – in supporting roles.
Among the links that are included in the Wikipedia entry for the film Dr. Strangeglove by Stanley Kubrick, the following phrases also appear: doctrine of extermination, black comedy, Peter Sallis, mutually assured destruction.
David Perlov, photographer and filmmaker, begins filming Journal in 1973 and continues over the decade. The film documents Perlov and his family’s lives amid pivotal events that unfold in the fledgling State of Israel.
Ayelet Hashahar Cohen, April 2012
Nimrod wishes to thank Ilit Azulai, Amir Hayot, Ori Gershoni, Orit Raf, Efrat Shalem and a special thanks to Roni.