Heat Archer

Uri Nir

December 22, 2012 - February 8, 2013

At the Bakery Uri Nir will present his new work Heat Archer. The work was filmed at the Rockefeller Archeological Museum in East Jerusalem, which was erected during the British Mandate and holds an excellent collection of skulls. In Heat Archer a stream of water bursts in an arch from the museum’s roof to an ornamental pool in the center of the courtyard surrounded by beautiful arches made of stone. In the work, a human skull hovers in mid-air, facing the ornamental pool, while the stream of water passes through the skull’s right eye socket, hitting the center of the pool.

Occasionally, the stream of water misses the skull’s eye socket causing it to hit the skull itself. Due to the intensity of the hit, the skull’s lower jaw loosens and the skull’s mouth opens and closes as if it is talking. The sound of a man talking is fitted to seem as if it is the skull itself talking, describing the physical traits of itself and the different elements in the space in which it is placed as orders. The low, deep and seeded manly voice of the skull conveys huge enjoyment resulting from its authoritativeness, while simultaneously it conveys the enormous authority of enjoyment.

Nir’s work was filmed using a thermal camera, which is normally used by plumbers to locate leaks in buildings. This type of camera reflects reality through the heat of the objects in front of it. Every pixel is a heat meter, and the temperatures measured are translated within the camera to an image constructed of blacks and whites – cold objects appear dark while warm objects appear light colored. During the filming of the work, the stream of water was heated so that it would appear bright against the dark sky in the background. This act was applied on the skull in order to make it appear white, as in its original state. At times, the skull dissolves into a black background, which is actually the infiltration of the differences in temperature between the warm skull and the cool water of the ornamental pool, in to which it is sinking.

Text by Johnathan Soen & Uri Nir

Voice and sound by Binya Reches

Camera by Ofer Barr

>> The film was produced with the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund

Uri Nir’s page on Vimeo

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