Obliterating an Image (adapting to blues), 2018 Yael Davids

Installation, glass, rope mended ceramic, archival inkjet print Courtesy of the Artist and Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Glass is an important material in Yael David’s recent performance installations. When the artist was plunged into deep mourning several years ago, she became fascinated by the specific characteristics of this material. Glass is, for example, one of the few types of material that is completely beyond repair once it is damaged. And despite glass being transparent and seemingly vulnerable, glass plates and glass objects do always radiate a certain danger. This gives the material various layers of meaning.
Glass also plays an important role in David’s new and abstract looking installation Obliterating an Image (adapting to blues). The work consists of several glass plates and two wall sculptures made of clay. It originates from the performance Obliterating an Image. This performance refers both to the tumultuous political history of a developing nation state, Israel, and also to the artist’s personal background which was influenced by loss and mourning. The accompanying performance installation acts as a spatial choreography consisting of various elements, of which the central themes are fragility and fault lines. All elements of the installation are linked to each other and they touch the fault lines each in their own way.
Smaller objects are added to the performance Obliterating an Image (adapting to blues), for example a small Japanese tea cup full of cracks that have been repaired with gold and a block that has been assembled with various types of glass. In this installation, every component, every sheet of paper, and every object all refer to vulnerability and particularly to the way in which we deal with this vulnerability.
Where the artist normally making use of black pigments for her wall sculptures, she is now for the first time using a blue colour. The change of colour is creating a totally different feeling. The sombreness seems to be less present and to be replaced by a more optimistic feeling. It is as if the work calls us to approach our vulnerability and grief with a more open and sincere look, so that they can also have a positive form in the long run.Even though Yael Davids focuses on performance and installations that are activated by the performances, this autonomous work of art in all its simplicity triggers visitors to start thinking about their own vulnerabilities and uncertainties. Perhaps this work of art also shows us how we could better handle our vulnerabilities and how we can change the way we act.

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