Noa Gur features five works from the past two years are in the exhibition. These works deal with the materialistic discourse alongside concepts derived from religion and spiritual rituals. The meeting point of these two seemingly opposing worlds takes place in the arena of the body incorporated in the artist’s portrait.
In the work Burning Bush, 2012, Gur’s face appears like a shadow due to the fact that she has blackened her face with soot. Her facial features are alternately and partially revealed due to the smoke emitted from the cigarette in her mouth. White Noise, 2012 shows the artist’s soot-covered face printed innumerable times on paper towels. Each imprint creates a unique and singular frame, recalling the materiality of film with every appearance. The 6-channel video work, Coinonia, 2013, follows Gur in the process of creating a cast, reminiscent of an assembly line. The outcome is a cast of her own portrait, looped and spinning on its axis, while each of the phases in the process seems as an independent unit moving in an endless loop. The series of sketches, Bodybills, 2013 portrays Gur as she models in an art class. The sketches that were made were given to her, after some bargaining, as payment for her modeling, instead of the common monetary payment. Dark Pools, 2013, a video work comprised of two screens, and made specifically for this exhibition, shows Gur’s profile while she slowly swallows a strip recounting Jesus’ miracle of bread and fish, as it is written in the New Testament. In Another screen appears broadcasts from an Indian news agency, showing floods and consequent reconstruction work, along with information regarding changes in stock markets in east and South Asia, as the numbers scroll from left to right.
In these works, the body becomes almost still, losing its vitality and turning into an object, while functioning as a machine, repeating its actions in a constant and set time frame. It seems as if a ׳higher׳ standard regarding the body’s productive and reproductive ability is being set. This conjunction of organic and technical physicality, displayed in the clash of the body with base materials, creates a repetitive pace. Nevertheless, the silent portrait seems to be recharged with a pulse, perhaps in the same way that Karl Marx compared value to the soul which regenerates goods and products, such as his concepts of Soul value / Wertseele.
Gur speaks of the fading presence of the assembly line in Western, urban spaces and allows for a cognitive and emotional labor to take its place. The large factories are currently located in distant countries, far from the Westerner’s eyes, while it is the immigrant workers who do physical work in public spaces of industrialized countries. The invisibility of the worker and the instrumentalization of his body is positioned against the flaunting visibility and the self-exploitation of those enthusiastic and devoted to do creative work.
Curator: Adi Gura