Dreaming of Architexture
A conversation with artist Naama Roth about her current solo show at Feinberg Projects, Tel Aviv.
C-P: By aligning your work with the gallery space, what experience did you intend for the viewers to have?
N.R: Integrating the gallery space was a key part of the installation of the exhibition. The thematic preoccupation of the entire exhibit is architecture and interior design fantasy and the bi-functional use of space. In terms of design, it was almost a natural move to put the space into the creation through various interventions and disruptions to the fixed architectural elements of the gallery. I tried to create the experience of a kind of illusion of “reality” – between the existing wall and the wallpaper wall and the window-like piece mimicking a real gallery window.
C-P: Your decision to use industrial materials as a medium, I assume was a calculated one that goes beyond simply a surprising aesthetic. Do you think the techniques used in building relates to the conventionally less structurally rooted creative process?
N.R: My decision of using only industrial materials as a medium with predetermined formal statements was an internal decision (mechanical on the one hand and liberating on the other). As an artist today, I cannot act as though I am creating something out of nothing. All artistic practice today is a kind of dialogue, a correspondence and reference to another. Given the limitations of these industrial materials it reduces the possibilities for the creative process and subjects your work to the requirements of industrial production. The main raw material of the exhibition, a material that itself isn’t the original source. It doesn’t have an independent existence and its essence is simply a mark, a non-authentic imitation, pastiche of the real thing.
C-P: Your artwork highlights the beauty in imperfection but also demonstrates an acute understanding and appreciation of measurement and precision. How did you fuse together the two seemingly opposite styles into Architexture?
N.R: There is a contrast between the sealed and precise style, the clean and the disposable raw materials that express the internal struggle between the polished aspects, the “eternity” of the art alongside the transience of the supplies, this quasi-aesthetic that seems both mechanical and computerized.
C.P: Architexture exposes the raw elements that are used to compose a finished product. Is there a deeper message you were trying to express through the exhibition?
N.R: In my work I use signals that are not empty of context but loaded with a symbolic value and useful value. Wallpaper is an inexpensive and accessible imitations of natural and costly materials. In the same way my works adapt an elitist and exclusive style, a standardization and de-mystification of the lofty ideal of art. “Pure art” sullied by the everyday, concrete and domestic.
C-P: Your decision to exhibit materials as the finished product says something about the standards people and society impose onto what is considered to be artwork. How do you think Architexture challenges this?
N.R: One of the major themes of the exhibition is a reversal of roles between high and low. Using artificial material with monotony and lack of character, whose mission is imitation and now stands at center stage. Their material's practical function is taken away and instead becomes a performance aesthetic object for observation only. For the first time it becomes a means but not an end, what covers the wall now becomes what hangs on it. The poster of this material, the tonal and physical flatness, provide an atmosphere stage set the appearance and the surface which I believe is associated with the society in which we live
C-P: What can you say about your collaboration as an emerging artist with Feinberg Projects?
N.R: I am very happy for the opportunity to present a solo show so soon after graduation. Feinberg Gallery is the only gallery that provides such opportunities for fresh graduates. My relationship with Feinberg Projects began during my final exhibition at Shenkar College and shortly thereafter, I already had set a date for the exhibition. I was luckily spared the confusion and difficulty while finishing my studies of art and then immediately started working on the show after graduation. As a gallery there is a big risk in taking on a young and inexperienced artist for a solo exhibition, but I believe that with the right connection between artist and gallery it can contribute greatly to both sides.
Naama Roth's exhibiton "Architexture" runs at Feinberg Projects in Tel Aviv through March 26 www.feinbergprojects.com
Images courtesy of the artist and Feinberg Projects
1)Naama Roth, Panoramic view #daytime, 2015, Wallpaper on wood, 92x43 cm 2) Installation view Naama Roth "Architexture" at Feinberg Projects, 2016 3) Naama Roth, Pedestal, 2015, Wallpaper on formica, 102x114 cm 4) Naama Roth, Dreams of drawers, 2015, Wallpaper on wood,129x68 cm.jpg
5) Installation view Naama Roth "Architexture" at Feinberg Projects, 2016