Sigalit Landau’s committed and poetic approach turns personal questions, be they philosophical or political, into universal quests. To achieve this, she often combines performance, installations, objects and films. Her work crystallizes a collection of ideas through a single image, object or action, rendering them symbolic as in her “Barbed Hula” video, where she appears on a beach in Israel, naked, performing a hula hoop dance using a ring of barbed wire.
She has been, for several years, involved in an in-depth relationship with the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea (456m below sea level). She reacts, as an artist, to the terrible peculiarities of this site; this damaged place, which holds within it the region’s geopolitical traumas, and is the scene of an ongoing ecological disaster. This is the place she has chosen to stage her unique oeuvre, inspired by her continual attraction to embody the ritual linked to memory. This is where she orchestrates her exploration of the archaeology of the present.
The overarching themes of Sigalit Landau’s current exhibition will be water, soil, and salt. Through these basic elements the artist will explore issues of existence and survival: the interdependence of people and nations in her native region, and their common interlinked future.
Landau, known for her complex site-specific installations (such as those presented at the Tel Aviv Museum and KW Berlin) is planning a new, poetic and multi-layered installation for the Israeli Pavilion in Venice. The new exhibition is yet another step in Landau’s ongoing exploration of the tensions between public and personal issues and space.
Based on Landau’s historical research, the launching point for the new installation is the small three-tiered Pavilion building in which her exhibit will dwell – a structure designed in the modernist style. For her show, the building’s entrance will be relocated to the courtyard – a space originally meant to be kept away from public view.
The title the artist has already given to her work for the pavilion, “One man’s floor is another man’s feelings” is a variation on the familiar saying “one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling”, which here becomes feelings. With this title, we might guess that the installation will evoke the interdependence of human beings and the sharing of riches. But the water that will be present all over the pavilion, like blood irrigating the body, is not only the precious liquid so scarce for billions of people, but it becomes a metaphor for the knowledge, sharing and feelings that connect us to each other and organize our common destiny. Like salt deposited on an object or penetrating a wound, the journey that Sigalit Landau is plotting for Venice, crystallizes the fears and hopes of these uncertain times.
The commissioning of the Israeli Pavilion is directed by Jean de Loisy and Ilan Wizgan.
Sigalit Landau was born in 1969 in Jerusalem. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, at the Gallery Kamel Mennour, Paris, at the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art as well as the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, and is at the moment presented as part of the Centre Pompidou’s collections in the collective exhibition [email protected]
The exhibition will be accompanied by a new book, designed by Noam Schechter, which will present the new works, combined with discussion about some of Landau’s previous work. The book will include some of her research process for this upcoming exhibition. The book will also include three essays about her work and will be published by the distinguished French publisher Les Presses du Réel.
The installation deals with water, soil and salt as metaphores for interdependence among human beings.
Arad Turgeman, Michael Gov
Ilan Wizgan, Jean de Loisy
Photos by Cosmin Năsui
Modernism.ro vă prezintă, în premieră, un serial dedicat expozițiilor pavilioanelor naționale și evenimentelor paralele și dar și a celor colaterale ale Bienalei de Artă de la Veneția, unul dintre cele mai importante evenimente europene de artă contemporană.
Mulțumim Institutului Român de Cultură şi Cercetare Umanistică de la Veneția și ICR București pentru suportul și sprijinul acordat la realizarea acestui serial.