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Skull, 2008, watercolor on paper, 35 x 50 cm, courtesy of the artist and TheHeder Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, photography: Ami Erlich

Emanuel Faytchevitz:
Scattering Former Love

 

January 24 - June 20, 2009

Curator: Tal Yahas

 

The works featured in this exhibition were inspired by the world of medical imaging, which uses computerized technologies to scan and map out the body. The scanning process invades the flesh and produces an abstraction of the human body, disassembling and reassembling it as a collection of data. These digital images - ranging from the ultrasound imaging of fetuses to CT studies of corpses and mummies - accompany people throughout their lives, from the womb to the grave. Faytchevitz is concerned with states in which man experiences his existence and body as a flat image and as a virtual, alienating entity. The computerized processing of the body, which renders it immaterial, finally leads to the loss of its human dimension.

 

In recent years, Faytchevitz has mainly exhibited bodies of work consisting of watercolor paintings on paper. The power of his works is born of the tension between the delicate, light-hued, transparent watercolors and the dark themes with which he charges them. These include passionate scenes involving force, violence and explicit sexuality inspired by currents events, kabbalistic myths, Japanese pornography and more. The first paintings in the current series were paintings of skulls and fetuses, in which medical imaging serves as the primary aesthetic reference. These body parts hover upon the white page, and are decorated with colorful dots that seem to allude to the "mapping" of the "scanned" body part. Due to the arbitrary distribution of these dots, they are transformed into an excessive, purposeless ornament - like jewelry adorning a series of ghosts. As this series evolved, Faytchevitz applied the same aesthetic to various portraits and narrative scenes. It seems that in these works, the figures have internalized the estranged digital subjectivity that has been violently imposed upon them, so that they appear monstrous and disconnected - devoid of any material, emotional or moral anchor.

 

Nevertheless, it seems that Faytchevitz's works do not simply point to subjective experiences of alienation and estrangement; rather, their very essence opposes itself to such experiences. The manual reappropriation of the digital images, whose high-tech quality is captured in the low-tech medium of watercolors, allows for a small moment of grace: imbued with compassion, the unsteady gestures of the painters' hand are still able to emblematize the human spirit.

Emanuel Faytchevitz was born in Holon (1971). He is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (1996-2000). Solo exhibitions include: "Golem," Tal Esther Gallery, Tel Aviv (2001); "Hidden Plan," Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (2003); "New Staff," Tal Esther Gallery, Tel Aviv (2004); "Eclectus," TheHeder Contemporary Art Gallery, Tel Aviv (2007). Group exhibitions include:  "Illustration... That's the Story," Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2001); "Thou Shalt Make: The Resurgence of Judaism in Israeli Art," Time for Art, Tel Aviv (2003); "Power," Ha'aretz Art Festival, Tel Aviv (2005); "Pornography My Love," Artists House, Tel Aviv (2007); "Near and Apparent: Connections and Contexts - a Selection from the Benno Kalev Collection," The Tefen Open Museum (2008); "The Roaring Stuffed Animal," Beit Shturman Museum, Ein  Harod (2008). Faytchevitz has won the Isracard Prize awarded by the Tel Aviv Museum (2007). He lives and works in Tel Aviv.
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