Tie - July 2015
Tie exhibition by Arik Afek at the Cliff Gallery, Netanya July 2016
"Tie", "Knot", "Connection", "Relations" are all "Kesher" in Hebrew. The layered meaning of the "Kesher", was the subject of the exhibition at the Cliff Gallery in Netanya. The solo exhibition was the prize for winning the Netanya Annual Artists Association exhibition, the previous year, on the subject of "Arik Einstein". The physical knots of the wire were woven into the conceptual ties of each of the works displayed, and their relationships were examined. First came the connection between the exhibition and the ones that preceded it, thus creating a continuum of the exhibitions. Next, the conceptual idea behind the exhibition is examined, how the artist relates to the subject and the ideas influencing it. Then the relations between the works and the space are examined and the relations between each of the works. The relation to the public is not forgotten. The multilayered meanings, allow the skipping between the physical and the abstract. Yet, the exhibition does not try to solve the entire concept of the knots, but more humbly, attempts to raise a few questions and maybe gain some local insights.
"Plane" is the connection to the previous exhibitions. The exhibit adapts itself to the exhibition space, while passing a strong message about the lack of relations between people sharing the same space. Each of us is locked in his own plane not seeing the person next to him. If you will, the big frames displayed, are our phone displays. Always connected but...
Knots are not necessarily made with ropes or strings. The simple physical knots may be created with various materials. In construction you use wire rods for example to hold together cardboards for casting concrete. "Hanging" displays such a rod, hanging in the middle of a curtain. The curtain, 3 frames held together, is no longer functional at home, as a separator of spaces. Unlike "Plane" the wire rod breaks out of the frame thus serving as a contrast to "Plane". "Hanging" also relates to the language of art with the Triptych in the background. Another relation of this work is to home, which wire rods such as the one hanging, helped construct.
"Knots" are discarded wire rods used to tie and hold together cardboards while concrete was poured between them. While "Hanging" was a single and impressive wire knot. "Knots" are smaller, but each of them unique in form. These knots held the cast concrete together for the first 24 or 48 hours and then were needed no more. Their function had "expired". The cut knots relate of course to "Hanging" but also to the lack of connection in "Plane", raising questions about the length of a connection, its quality, its physical or conceptual form as they are expressed in other works of "Tie".
"Women" displays two statues facing each other. Human sized they do not look at each other but are definitely aware of one another. The first is organized, restrained the other is wild, full of power, in motion. Who are they? Do they know each other? Have they just met or are the good old friends? Or maybe, they ae two reflections of the same person? Many questions arise regarding the human encounter, a subject that was dealt with before by Arik Afek. Women is also connected to "Plane". The two women are framed by the same frames of "Plane". The restrained woman stands in the middle of a frame while the other woman looks as if she escaped from her frame. The two frames along with "plane" form a diagonal crossing the entire exhibition's space.
"Mother" tries to examine the relationship between the artist and his audience. Each of us is influenced differently by the works of art we came to see. Some will relate to a certain work while others, ignore it. Many see in Wire Art only the air between the wires while others are able to complete the image in their minds. The work is minimalistic. Two construction rods depict the body's contour while a third is used for the face. The tall statue looks down to you examining you, maybe with a reproach. Inspiration for this work comes from "Soucis Quotidiens" by Belgian "Rick Wouters" who died young (34) in 1916.