PRESS / 2016

Graham Harman “Reuven Israel’s Very Unliteral Theater”

“Much of Israel’s output is hypnotic, and this would not be possible if it merely presented objects literally. As is well known, the Fried of 1967 opposed “presence” to “presentness,” also equating the latter with “grace.” If we replace the confusing term “presentness” with “absentness” (an equally awkward but more accurate term) we will hit on something equally important to presentday philosophy and architecture: the search for the real as that which lurks beneath visible form even while being triggered or conjured by it. Israel is an artist of unusual flexibility with respect to the real. This sometimes animates the outward look of his works, but other times is best seen in their actions: spinning, leaning, drilling, and once in awhile surrendering. There is a freshness to these works of a kind that comes only from within— from the inwardness of the artist, and that of the objects themselves.”

Graham Harman