Places have been / Claire Waffel / June 2011

Claire Waffel was selected as “artist in residence” in Bezalel, Yaffo 23/ Jerusalem. She spent 4 months living and working in the city and the results of her research and work will be displayed from June 9th as part of the exhibition Life/Art at Bezalel, Yaffo 23.

Waffel uses a variety of media such as film, photography, drawing and installation to create an interaction between disparate time periods and structures. Her works often depict the collision of parallel but inconsistent time periods, revealing unusual aspects of history and memory, while also examining the medium according to its relationship with time. Waffel’s work ranges from personal narrative to analytical abstract installations.

The first component of the exhibition is a short video entitled “Still,” created in 2010. The film, set in Berlin, is pieced together by a series of images of the artist lying down rigidly in various spaces throughout the city. The clips present a multi-faceted resistance against both the fast-paced movement and the verticality of the city. Her tense position is not reminiscent of death or falling, but rather aims to underscore her active decision to resist, and encourages a sense of irritation and discomfort. The video also serves to test the audience’s reaction and invite the viewer to become involved in the installation.

The other two pieces are variations on photography, created by Waffel during her residency at Yaffo 23. While the video explores especially the relationship between landscape and cityscape, these installations examine the interplay between landscape and ideology. With the assumption that the presentation of a landscape is shaped by ideology, the artist approaches landscape as a conversation between geography and history, and examines what is projected onto a landscape.

The first of these two pieces is a large black and white photograph of a manmade hill near the Dead Sea. The photograph is cut into strips, which hang, together but separate, from the ceiling. The second is a series of aluminum triangles on which are transferred various blurred and abstracted photographic images of the Dead Sea, Masada, and the Negev desert. The aluminum gives texture and dimensionality to the images, and the layout engages the exhibition space in a multi-dimensional manner.

Claire Waffel studied for her BA in Media Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and received an MA in Photography at the London College of Communication, University of Arts, London. Her work has been exhibited at the Kunsthaus Dresden, and the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, and numerous group shows. Her residency in Bezalel, Yaffo 23 was supported by Schir-Art Concepts, The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and the Goethe Institue, Jerusalem.

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