Yehudit Sasportas (born 1969, living in Berlin and Tel Aviv) is one of today’s most influential Israeli artists and has represented the country in 2007 at the 52. Venice Biennial. The Braunschweig exhibition presents up-to-date works of art, mainly produced in 2008.
In her large scale landscape drawings and installation pieces, Yehudit Sasportas connects drawings created in her studio using different methods, such as memory, artificially arranged still lives, video projections and computer generated visualising sounds. The landscapes depicting woods, moors and mountain ranges are designed to represent “mental landscapes” rather than images of the external reality. They are individual, subconscious-based personality profiles. At second glance, the alleged idyll in black and white turns out to be an apocalyptic landscape. They are hauntingly bizarre settings in nature, ruins of a henceforth symbolic idyll and expression of a deeper alienation. Everything about them seems hybrid and full of contradictions: at the same time, they are bleak as well as bright, delicate as well as profound, idyllic and utopian as well as threatening and eerie. Any attempt at orientation fails too. Duplications, reflections, and the simultaneous combining of different perspectives oscillate the observers focus.
It is with contradictions as profound as outside versus inside, as reason versus intuition, that Sasportas brings her work together, by an antinomic method of the intended and intuition as much as a simultaneously romantic-illusionistic and scientifically-technical aesthetic. It is specifically these contradictions that determine Sasportas’ work. The magnet, which in many of her works is representative of a target-like circular symbol, is used as a metaphor for the dialectic bipolarity. In the installation Magnetic-Heart-Film, the viewer finds himself between two magnetic poles, on each of which’s circular, grooved surfaces a film is projected, the pictures of which seem to develop and dissolve from and into nothingness. The viewer is thus placed in the centre of a magnetic field, which is addressed by a constant, humming sound. Varying perspectives and different methods of presentation are combined in a drawing or installation to produce a hybrid whole. Individual, constantly returning motives are mirrored, varied and recombined. They refer to theories of cognition, and to existentialistic philosophical concepts, such as Heidegger’s Lichtungen.
Sasportas’ chosen title The Laboratory underlines the experimental character of the exhibition, at the same time as referring to Sasportas’ intention to bestow the viewer with an insight into her own thought and creation processes. The exhibition’s title also emphasis the scientific, objective approach, which shares equal footing with the emotional/mental aspect of her work.
A catalogue will be published by Prestel to accompany the exhibition, with text-contributions by Mark Gisbourne and Hilke Wagner.