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Almost Natural 2019

Almost Natural 2019


Exhibition closing date 23.1.2020

Yochi Shrem's new exhibition is an "almost natural" continuation to the installation "human tissue" that was presented in Fresh Paint Fair, 2018 (Curator: Dana Gillerman). It is an additional ongoing attempt to grant present, corporeal existence, to unseen parts inside the human brain, and at the same time, to address through sub-text the threat embodied in the processes taking place in research and trial labs – the product of the biotech revolution, and the accelerated engagement in artificial intelligence and its ramifications. The fast advancing technology changes the way we remember, think, use language, behave, choose, work, and manage our lives. The need to communicate using algorithms changes our language. Screens change the way we view reality. Medicine turns us bionic. Advanced printers will soon allow us to print clothes, limbs, and new hearts. Genetic mapping will enable us to give birth to a new species, as well as reproduce life. Virtual spaces change our need for sex and intimacy. These changes are radical, even though their meaning and presence in our lives evade us for the time being.

The gallery room contains knitted, colorful, and appealing bodies of work. The first glance reveals two groups of works: 'blocked'/ 'caged' works and 'free' works. The 'blocked' works are knitted objects inside transparent Perspex boxes, reminiscent of a lab display, or an exhibition at the natural science museum. Seemingly, they allow us to zoom in on different parts of the brain that are separated from the whole, indicating a process of destruction and degeneration, 'frozen' evidence of sorts that seemingly allow us to re-examine these processes that happen in the brain; an inversion of in/out, unseen/seen, that manifest in the attempt to mimic - through laborious manual knitting - brain activity, and actions that intervene in the brain, hidden from sight and unobservable, unless in a lab with advanced means. The blocked boxes installation corresponds with degenerative processes of all that is vital in the brain using knitted and colorful objects that seemingly lose their color. The objects indicate parts of the brain that 'experienced' possible future intervention of algorithms in the structuring of the brain, degenerating certain parts that are deemed 'unnecessary' to the actions of the algorithm.

Opposite them, the room is full of alluring 'free' objects hanged on the gallery walls, bursting out of some of the boxes, resembling a beautiful, colorful waterfall, an indicator of life, vitality, creativity, and uniqueness. A review of the objects reveals a similarity between the branchings and the appearance of neural networks in the brain (these still seem like a magical and mysterious net) that are also responsible for the similarities and differences ingrained in each one of us.

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