Artist: Gal Weinstein
Title: Sun Sand Still: “jezreel valley in the dark”
Work specially commissioned for the 57th Biennale di Venezia, Israeli Pavilion
Technique: Installation: Polyurethane, sugar and coffee
About the artist:
Gal was born in Ramat Gan, Israel in 1970; studied art in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem (1993-1997).
Additional to his work as artist he has been a teacher since 2000 in different institutions in Israel.
He has had solo exhibitions in Israel, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, USA, Brazil and Spain; some of them:
“Tremors”, 2007. Centro Huarte de Arte Contemporaneo. Pamplona, Spain
“Huleh Valley”, 2005. Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
“Roof”, 2002. 25th International Biennal of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“Installation”, 2001. San Francisco Art Institute, USA.
2006. Beatrice S. Kolliner Young Israeli Artist Award. Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
2004 Israel Cultural Excellence Award. Tel Aviv Museum and Isracard’s Israeli Artist Award.
1998 Young Artist’s Award, Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture.
What “jezreel valley in the dark” is saying?
I have decided to present a completely conceptual work, in this case an installation, as it is one of the many ways artists have access to for expressing their ideas.
Installations are proposals where a space and how it is used are part of the means the artist chooses for conveying his/her creation.
In this sense you can acquire an installation that “fits” in the architecture of your home or you can commission an art work that will “inhabit” a space in your home.
“Sun Sand Still” is a proposal created for the Israeli Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017.
It takes the space of a room where you can see it from different levels but you cannot walk in.
It is a visual, nose and emotional related experience.
When I experienced it I found it very moving and disturbing: In a room where the fourth side is open, it is your point of view, you see the representation of an arid landscape created with a synthetic material and you smell coffee. The walls are worn, stained and show, as the landscape does, the pass of time, the decay, the absence of human life, an abandoned place.
The smell of coffee somehow gives you comfort for a second but then you realized due the “denser atmosphere” that the coffee is decaying too.
How you translate this “setting” to your experience is something that just you can tell experiencing it.
Despite this raw representation and hopeless situation there was beauty in what I was seeing… the muted, almost monochrome scheme, the creases, the pattern created by the lines.
And then when I did read the text than explains the work I had the chance to move from what for me was a universal phenomena to the expression of a local reality, an Israeli one. If you want to learn about it I invite you to Google it.
It is in this capacity of abstraction of situations, moods and conditions that art lives and germinates.
You may want to experience it in your home and allocate a space for the artist to recreate this world.
This may be possible with this installation (the artist will need to be invited), or with others pieces where the “eye” and “proposal” of the artist will determine the place and surroundings of the work.
In what Room to place it?
The room has to be created for a work like this. It can be under the stairs, it can be that you decide to include in the brief the need to have a space where this piece will be present and enjoy daily.
Have you seen a Zen Japanese garden built just with sand and rocks?
You’ve got it!
What is around that room and the lighting will determine how strong or subtle the impact of the work will be.