ALONA RODEH ALONA RODEH ALONA RODEHby Guy Yanai | 15.10.13
Before leaving for her one year long residency at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien last month Alona Rodeh was everywhere.
A solo show at the CCA in Tel Aviv. A duo project at Hezi Cohen Gallery. The bottom floor of The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion. A pop up show at ZIZ art space.
This prolific activity was made all the more impressive in that every project was completely different. All was coherent, but every project was a local solution and a unique train of thought.
The first time I encountered Alona’s work was outside of the spaceship gallery about four years ago. She had two cars set up, smoke coming out of their engines, and here and there intense music would come out. This was about 20 meters from the American Embassy on HaYarkon st. Besides my awe, it was hilarious to see the tourists looking at this thing and having no idea what to make of it.
Here are images from the show at Hezi Cohen Gallery, BARKING DOGS DON”T BITE ( which was filmed at Braverman Gallery!) and from the Helana Rubinstien Show, NEITHER DAY NOR NIGHT.
Wishing Alona Rodeh a fruitful year in Germany.
Installation shots by Tal Nissim
Neither Day Nor Night:
Alona Rodeh’s “Neither Day Nor Night” (2013) was specially constructed for the space it is located in, on the -1 level of the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art. In the darkened space is a wide chess patterned wooden stage, and a reflective pleated curtain located at it’s far end. Low-toned music, which is synchronized with changing lights, emanates from the loudspeakers set into the floor. The music playing in the space is a contemporary adaptation of an 1888 composition by the popular modern composer Erik Satie, Gymnopédie #1. Originally composed for piano, this adaptation is for tuba, the lowest-pitched brass instrument; The result is simultaneously harmonious and disharmonious, transforming the familiar into the unusual and creating a sense of expansion into a fantastic dimension.
The introduction of the element of time and duration into the space momentarily transforms it into an abandoned basement, a spectacular banquet hall, and a senseless exhibition space featuring an architectural model reminiscent of the Parthenon. The title of the work, Neither Day nor Night, refers to a state of negation – an intermediate, ephemeral state that defies definition and verges on collapse. In the same manner, the space of the work produces a distinct, clearly circumscribed heterotopia suspended outside time; a space that produces suspension, expectation, and unfulfilled longing. In addition, The title charges the work with a mystical dimension. The origin of the expression “Neither day nor night” is the Prophecy of Zechariah, which appears at the end of the Passover Haggadah. The poem describes a day that will exceed the natural order of things, when light will shine in the middle of the night. This description refers to the End of Days, when there will no longer be days or nights, when time will exceed its own limits. An entirely different cosmic state. A state of redemption (-Hadas Maor)
Barking Dogs Don’t Bite:
Rodeh’s video work “Barking Dogs Don’t Bite” (2012), is a projecting of a gallery space, inside another gallery space. Braverman Gallery, one of the leading Tel Aviv commercial galleries, is shot from both inside and outside, during a cyclical process which seems to be automatic and self-inflicted: a smoke bomb is thrown into the center of the space from above – and one by one, all defence mechanisms (alarm, sprinklers, bars) begin to act, in an orchestrated performance. There are no intruders or trespassers, only passers-by who do not notice the action. Instead, the viewer remains the sole witness to this drama in its entirety.