Solo Exhibitions
Rosenfeld Gallery, Tel Aviv

Curated by Maya Frenkel Tene

“In his essay “Why Look At Animals?” the art historian John Berger outlines the evolution of the relationship between men and animals from the dawn of history to today. Berger argues that the modern zoo is a testimony to the gradual disappearance of animals from the daily lives of humans. The zoo is made to allow people to gaze at animals, yet, it cannot but disappoint. In the artificial setting offered by a zoo, a visitor can never fully capture the animal’s attention as its gaze, at best, will flutter momentarily and move on. Berger looks at the domestication of animals as part of a wider universal process characterizing the evolution of consumer society, whereby an individual gradually recluses into the familial cell, adorning himself with “souvenirs” from the outside world.
In the exhibition “Safari,” Shai Dror examines the way in which humans construct slices of nature in their domestic space, bringing in pets or planter pots. The scaled down and domesticated version of nature suggests a longing to the “real,” wild nature, yet one that we only wish to imagine, not live in. In his photographs and video installations, Dror carries a dialogue with his immediate surrounding. He is interested in the aesthetics of urban nature and its visual and material elements. In one of the photographs, a florescent lightbulb flickers from within a lush vegetation. The artificial light exposes the forest as a public garden locale. Another photograph memorializes a large sweet potato wrapped in soil and roots, against the backdrop of half open shutters in the luminous space of an apartment.
In the video installation “Greenwash” a purebred Russian Terrier is being washed and pampered. Its “animalistic” characters - like its large size and black tousled coat - are portrayed in contrast to its dependence on its caretaker and his actions. The title of this piece “Greenwash,” suggests the large corporations attempt to employ a facade of green rhetorics in order to generate a public image of an environmentally safe industry, all the while operating in a non-sustainable way.
The sculptures in the exhibition space are made of found shutters collected from backyards of buildings about to be demolished. The plastic shutters, so well identified with the local urban landscape, are gradually vanishing, they too are becoming a form of an extinct species. Using found constructionwaste as materials in the works, transforms the artistic practice into an act of recycle. The plastic shutters allow us to gaze outside from within the domestic space and remain unseen, similarly to gazing at wild animals from within a protected safari vehicle.” 

Maya Frenkel Tene

Installation view

Pictures & Video Works
Untitled (Dovnov 26), 150x100 cm

The living years,4:30 min Greenwash, 12:00 min Untitled (Dovnov 26), 150x100 cm Untitled (Implantation), 100x70 cm In the morning, 13x18 cm Untitled (smoke),55x40 cm The end,29x42 cm