Purple Heart- 3rd exhibition in the 20th Nidbach series for emerging artists
Curator: Arad Boaz
9 Jul — 27 August, 2016
“I grew up on a kibbutz, surrounded by nature, but I never felt quite at home there… I wanted to change it, adapt it so it would accommodate me. I looked for a hiding place of my own, a closed and sheltered place in the exposed and open expanse. I climbed trees, hid, built a world within them. When it grows in an inhabited environment, a tree is a domesticated thing, and I wanted to domesticate it further. To turn it into a home. The tree became wood, a raw material used for woodworking. As a material, wood readily surrenders during the work process, but remains hard when it is displayed as a final product. When I sculpt soft images in it, its stiffness imbues them with a firm and impenetrable dimension. I work with the inner part of the trunk – the flesh
and substance, which I process into objects.” Shai Haber-Thaler
We could look at Haber-Thaler’s work through three different dimensions – the appearance of the surface, the mass of the material, and the poetics of the image. In one of her pieces, she produced a tree trunk from ceramic material. The structure and texture are reproduced to the point where it is impossible to distinguish between the original and the copy. The conversion of materials is not a display of virtuosity, but rather an attempt to understand the material’s nature and history of the object, to experience the circumstances of its formation. The result reveals the depth of this understanding. Haber-Thaler’s practice is not research oriented, she does not seek to produce knowledge but rather uses the object to mark a forgotten dimension. It is an experimentation with material, an attempt to be the material itself. Even when she produces an encounter between different objects, the image is not a carrier of meanings, it is a space for action, like notes that allow the musician to realize his inner world.