Shaul Setter, of Haaretz, writes on February 16, 2017:
On the top floor of the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in the photography gallery, far from the hubbub of the big exhibitions, a magnificent exhibition by Mark Yashaev is currently on display. With individual photos and one series hanging on the walls, as well as one more photo mounted on a wood pedestal in the center of the gallery, Yashaev creates a miraculous and penetrative space, both thought-provoking and seductive, that’s hard to pull yourself away from.
The exhibition is comprised mainly of photographs of interior spaces: a bedroom or shelter, the artist’s studio and a museum gallery. They may be interior spaces but they are not private or intimate: These are public spaces – a museum or archaeological site, or rooms in abandoned, ownerless buildings. There are objects and machines within them, as well as human figures. But these are not living spaces; they are exhibition arenas. The interior’s presentation thus deviates here: Yashaev does not present to us pieces of everyday life, from the very familiar part of life that is spread between work and rest, between feeding and washing the body, between caring for the house and caring for the self. The spaces he photographs are clearly artificial and carefully constructed. He doesn’t photograph something that was there beforehand so that the photo is like a window on the world – a previously formed world that is constant and stable. Instead, Yashaev designs a space, puts the way it is installed on show, and makes it a space of artistic creation. These spaces are full of action, not like life itself, but like a theater hall: The objects found in them are work tools and exhibition aids – chairs, hooks, light fixtures – and the spaces are temporary, like a stage set that is standing one moment and being taken down the next.
Mark Yashaev: “Only from this suddenness and on”; The Lauren and Mitchell Presser Photography Award for a Young Israeli Artist, 2016. Curator: Raz Samira. Tel Aviv Museum of Art (27 Shaul Hamelech St.). Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 A.M.-6 P.M.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 A.M.-9 P.M.; Friday, 10 A.M.-2 P.M. Through May 27.
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