Shalom Davidi Ben
Curator: Amit Berlovitz
29 Jun — 26 August, 2017
6th exhibition in the 20th Nidbach series
Inanimate Vegetation addresses death and the search for life in death. The work consists of two parts: a photography series and the video installation Forensic Life.
Ben Shalom Davidi’sphotographs are all shot on film that expired in 1983, a year before he was born. Due to its age, the film creates artificial coloration and improbable contrasts. These features allow Davidi to hold on to his photographed objects, endowing them with eternal life. His act reflects associative thinking regarding the life that is captured in inanimate objects, and the emotional residue such objects preserve.
The video installation Forensic Life is projected onto three old television screens. The film documents the “autopsy” of a human figure made entirely of organic materials – tree branches, leaves, and food remains of plant origin. The plot, which is essentially biographic, occurs in an imagined location whose existence draws on images from the real world.
The idea of recycling the human body after the passage of the soul to other worlds is at the center of Davidi’s works. Questions regarding the soul’s endurance in the memories of the departed person’s loved ones and acquaintances, as well as in his creations, objects, and in the body- soul duality, make way for contemplation regarding Aristotle’s concept of the vegetative soul. Aristotle saw the vegetative soul as one component of the irrational part of the human soul – one that is common to plants, animals, and humans.