Through the technique of disassembly and assembly, Israeli-American artist Noa Yekutieli makes visible the continuous processes of de- and re-constructing structures and the complex and interwoven fabric of human existence today.
In this solo exhibition she explores the notion of historical, political, national and personal narrative formation. She questions these inherited structures and suggests a reshaping of the way we understand and read history, to look at how identity is constructed and de-constructed in order to exist within borders of nations and norms. She addresses how disasters that cause destruction, trauma and loss, force us to exist within the ruins and re-build ourselves from the rubble simultaneously.
Her choice and usage of materiality highlights this further. In demonstrating a shift in perspective by producing pedestals for the works herself, she refocuses on the main object of attention and de-constructs our way of seeing. Yekutieli’s use of paper cutting technique, a painstakingly delicate method, is symbolic for the process of de-construction. While paper usually performs as surface upon which narratives manifest themselves, Yekutieli transforms it to the narrative itself. The once heavy sculptures are now black silhouettes detached from their original context and placed on the pedestal as fragmented ancient body parts. The dismantled human structure is a reminder of the temporality of natural existence.
An emphasis is placed on the part of the re-assembling process in this exhibition. The pieces of rubble that stand for war and disasters, and are placeholders of destruction and broken societies, are organized, sorted and carefully placed in the space and further used to rebuild new and balanced pedestal-structures. She addresses the challenges of how difficult and long-lasting the process of rebuilding a strong yet still vulnerable voice is. This voice contradicts the usual historical narratives that affect our personal and collective confrontation with loss and trauma.
Neglected objects become valuable, perspective changes and new points of reference are created that allow for counter-narratives. Everything is turned upside-down, suggesting that similar to our personal experiences, global history too has its ways of remembering and forgetting.
- Christian Thöner