Solo Exhibition at "The Lobby" Art Space, Tel Aviv, 21 May - 4 July 2020
Exhibition Text by Orit Mor:
The elevator door opens and closes, revealing its innards in a constant rhythm. This is not the Lobby elevator but a video of it projected onto the wall. The projected door represents the real one, yet it presents an interference – endless purposeless, monotonous movement. This door projects endless purposeless, monotonous movement. Each time the door opens neon light emerges from it.
Like a pyromaniac enchanted by fire, Yoav Weinfeld is drawn to the flash of light, the blow of the hammer, the airbrush spray, to effects that cannot be separated from their means of production even when they were not meant to do so: work tools, technological machines, or body organs. The artist’s practice exposes the creative processes behind it, as when a video projector is part of the image’s projection, or when the artwork deals with issues that demonstrate modes of image production, such as the video of a paper scorched by a magnifying glass. Yet a faulty fault or a default divert the action and result in something unplanned that leaves its mark.
In the exhibition Code vs Code at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (curator: Irit Hadar, Nov. 2018 – Mar. 2019) Weinfeld showed the work No Signal. A seemingly defective video projector was placed in the center of the space from where it screened the words “no signal” in a blue beam that traced a circle on a wall with two drawings: a xerox machine and an ATM. Despite the loss of functionality of each part of the installation components, the spectacle continued to shine in light, movement and sound.
Weinfeld’s work Loading, now displayed at the Lobby, continues the same gesture. A video projector lies on the gallery floor from which it screens a familiar sign – a round constantly moving illuminated line – demonstrating the effort required for a simple task: joining any external source. The desired image does not appear and the object – the projector itself with its screened icon becomes a spectacle that in an ironic inversion illuminates the helplessness of the artist, whose image is lost. In the work Magnifying Glass Weinfeld mixes different practices. An advertising image of a customer service operator wearing headphones and a microphone hangs on the wall. A video of paper scorched by a magnifying glass is screened onto the photograph, and the projector itself is set on an office chair like that of the operator. It seems as if the trained functionality of the representative operator, whose gear seems an extension of his body, is replaced by slow dissolution. Through the magnifying glass, which is also part of the hand, occurs a new act of signing, clumsy yet spectacular. Has the artist also dissolved leaving behind the chair and projector?
Like his mechanical installations, lacking human touch, Weinfeld’s paintings also present performative gestures made in one go created via mechanical tools such as airbrush or stencils that stain the white paper. Work tools, machines, body parts, and any of their combination are economically depicted discharging, hammering, spraying or flashing light. Many of the works present one clear, schematic, monochromatic printed or sprayed image that creates a hazy, graphic staining quality like rushed graffiti. The clumsy character of the painterly gestures created by mechanical means that hinder control, make the depicted situations seem like contextless actions that leave crude signs as effects of the “original” act. For example, a greyish meat grinder that produces a bright red chunk of ground meat; or a sketched head with a mouth streaming a river of black ink.
Using metaphors and a lot of humor Weinfeld formulizes his artistic practice as impulsive, deviating from the straight and narrow, on the tip of internal collapse; an artistic gesture done (literally) in default mode and leaving its traces in the form of line, stain or light. This is a moment of awareness that invites quietude, foreign emptiness; a movement that echoes meandering through unfamiliar planes slowly fading away.
Default was Supported by Rabinovitch fund for the arts and Tel Aviv Municipality.