Venezia Biennale 2017
Stainless steel, laser cutting, 2017
The subjects Shrem chooses are taken from her own personal world and experiences.
These days Shrem finds inspiration for her work in modern dance and the ability of dancers to use all their body parts to express themselves while keeping a constant flow of energy.
The project "sustainability" is an antithesis of balance and flow, dealing with water, one of the most important ecological elements, which is the essence of life on earth.
Two of the known sites in the world affected by climate change are The Dead Sea in Israel and Venice in Italy. As a result of climate change, global warming and overuse of natural resources. The ecological balance is disturbed and The Dead Sea is drying up and
Venice is sinking. Contributing to the abuse of natural resources, the melting of icebergs and another geological phenomenon will accelerate the sinking of Venice and will cause
The Dead Sea to disappear.
"SUSTAINABILITY" presents an apocalyptic picture of the two sites by using cold and sharp materials and contemporary technologies—polished stainless steel "crystals" and metal skeletons, laser cut. Shrem is striving to emphasize the danger of the disappearance of natural and human wonders -- history and geology, culture and art – thus hoping to create awareness of their condition in order to bring about a better approach to ecological changes for the benefit of future generations.
Mellow Sunset / Yochi Shrem
Curator: Arie Berkowitz
Opening Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 8 p.m.,
at the Zaritsky Tel Aviv Artists’ House
The exhibition closes March 17, 2018
In Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities, Marco Polo describes Venice as a unique city providing far greater inspiration than other cities - the “Aphrodite of stone rising from the waters.” It is a romantic, sensuous city yet at the same time it is rotting away and sinking. It is a city of polarities that attracted writers and artists who described it in words and images laden with fascinating mystery.
No wonder the myth that is Venice has also attracted Israeli artist Yochi Shrem who was invited to exhibit in Venice as part of the events of the Biennale. Inspired by the city, Shrem created a multilayered installation combining contrasting views of reality and imagination, past and present, romance and rot, an ecological apocalypse made by human hands.
Installed in the Tel Aviv Artists’ House, Yochi Shrem’s installation takes on new meanings. We can view it as an allegory of current events, of combinations in which the various aesthetics of drawings, photographs, collage and three-dimensional sculpture were processed and redefined. The installation calls for a renewed discussion and a new gaze at the act of making art as a conceptual act, a metaphor for the contemporary cultural reality in which the borderlines of moral and social norms have become blurred. Shrem juxtaposes processes currently taking place in the Dead Sea, leading to its gradual disappearance, with the rise of the water level in Venice, with its earth tremors and eventual sinking into the sea.
Yochi Shrem’s Venice is sinking literally and figuratively. Her drawings and cutouts of the Venetian skyline on the walls cast shadows creating a surrealistic, absurd drama, as does the sculpture installed in the center of the space, simulating the physical decline of Venice in terms of spoiled beauty with a tragic end. Water, the source of life, is about to flood the dry land in Venice while disappearing from the Dead Sea. Water forms the basis of the existence of the two sites, yet Venice is sinking under rising waters, and the Dead Sea is slowly disappearing as its waters evaporate.
Shrem’s installation in the Tel Aviv Artist’s House presents a symbolic sight analogous to this ecological and human reality. The sculpture is made of laser-cut metal, with crystals of shiny metal emphasizing danger and the technological threat. Enlightened hopes and liberal ideas are on a decline, with culture becoming cheaper, corruption becoming rifer in society, as people treat others as worthless, and the ecological damage created by modern life is reflected in the allegorical sinking of sublime Venice.
The physical decay and deterioration present a metaphysical gaze. Yochi Shrem creates a world at once fragile and disposable. She has created a theatrical installation reflecting the dualities of existence: life and death, entity and absence, mysterious and supernatural.