yaeli gabriely, israel
Contact: On request
Photographing is like kneading of a raw material for me.
During each session I take a large quantity of frames, each of which is only a fragment to be used later, sewn together as a part of the final image- In this way, the figures who appear in my work are a fusion or hybrid: a head from one frame is joined to a leg and a hand from another, a body posture from one pose attached to the gaze of another. Working digitally, the image is gradually unveiled, revealed to be a single image for the first time on the computer screen. It is only now that I myself am discovering it and experiencing it as a whole.
The digital format is an ‘open file’, very fluid and highly flexible, and it is simply begging to be played with, to be stretched, changed, manipulated, remolded. In that sense, its relation to the material world that was its source is very loose. In my work it seem to transcend the reality that first created it, by it's being beyond and above any actual time or space that ever existed; immortal.
In order to emphasize the confusion between essence and its representations, the physical manipulations appear in the images are always 'real'- whatever real might mean- they are applied in the physical space during the photo session, before that space is transformed into a non-tangible, immaterial one;
The tumors, malformations, hairs- are all plastic substitutes, masking-tape creations, assemblies of cheap costume accessories, sloppy painting; Scraps of paper, minced meat, mirrors, wigs, wax, dough, paint smears, plastic wrap, feathers, stockings, acrylic, aluminum foil- were all at first kind of religious props, used in rituals or private performances in which only the camera was attending and documenting. The final image was almost a by-product, an excess of the process. With time, the photograph itself became an essential mediating means-
The deeper and more complex the digital processes and manipulations became, the more the organic and the synthetic were bound together inseparably- the original organism, the human body, was masked with a heavy digitized cover, that in a sort of sophisticated fakery usurped the entity that once generated it.
My work challenges the 'what we see': appearances of stable matter are being replaced here with flexible, fluid, unreliable systems, new sets of rules.
The images are artificial cells, floating isolated in their quantum world that transfiguring constantly with every blink of the eye. They are also a collection of private rituals, situations that have transmuted into symbols, which seek to investigate the fraudulence of consciousness.
Although the material world in general and the human body in private are perceived, according to this line in my work, as deceptive and treacherous, when you push down on a rotten log floating on water, it is still something to cling to. Thus, the only sovereignty- even if fictive- I feel I still have is the one over my own body.
As a natural consequence, the body is also the first site of attack; many of my images display dismantling, transforming, manipulating, distorting of the body. The body is presented as an exposed, vulnerable, degenerated territory, and it is the body, as an initial basic unit, that becomes the most precise ground for experimentations, in a work that tries to decompose everything and give birth to a new set of symbols.
The aesthetics of the work is plastic, artificial, almost two-dimensional, and enhances the perception of the world as a surface, a spectacle, a single level fiction- a partial, vague and blinding representation of the truth.
- Yaeli Gabriely