Body Assemblage

Solo show at Barbur Gallery in Jerusalem, Israel. August 24 - September 28 2018. Curated by Hadas Amster.

Body Assemblage presents five video-sculptures that collage female body-parts: hands, face, thighs, waist. The hands multiply in a kaleidoscopic fashion and orchestrate wondrous, mechanical twirls. They caress and transform a sequined head in one work, and in another they trace the contour of a floating female figure. The multiplied and manipulated videos form a body of sorts, an organic-artificial composition, that confuses the living with the inanimate. As the act of projection on objects unfolds the gap between the pixel and the material, the video-sculptures articulate the desire to touch the piece of art, to feel the video as an object and as matter. When immersed in the room with the video-creatures, breathing yet standing still, the viewer is presented with a new feminist potential of being.

Feminist thought tends to identify emancipatory practices with the desire to become a subject. It sees the subject as autonomous and active, while the object is considered passive. Yet being a subject is a tricky business, as the theoretician and artist Hito Steyerl pointed out: the subject, after all, is always- already subjected. “How about siding with the object for a change?” Steyerl suggests, turning the hierarchy on its head and usurping its bitter core. “Why not be a thing? An object without a subject? A thing among other things? A thing that feels?”1 In this show, Gilboa and Stehl Kleberg examine this possibility. They experiment with disarticulating the body and reassembling it. In their installations, the subject as an independent whole with clear boundaries loses its force and vitality. Instead, the video works attend to the female body as a thing among other things, a thing that may become, with tender care, through disintegration and melding, a shared form of existence – a gathering of body-parts, a Body Assemblage, that moves, converses, lives, produces and reproduces in the wide and warm abyss that spans between the “I” and the “us.”

Photos by Tal Barel.

Orbs II, 2018, video projection, projector, copper pole

Sequence (Mind-Fuck), 2018, video projection, duralar, 3:40 min loop

Sea Twirl, 2018, video projection, plastic, 2:55 min loop

Precision Dance, 2018, video projection, projection screen, plastic

Hold Me, I’m Standing Still, 52 second HD video loop