BACKUP PLAN: Noa Schwartz, Vera Vladimirsky

Ori Feinberg
Mar 26, 2015 3:10PM

The Israeli Locale is a new creation of the "locale" concept. According to this concept, the attitude toward locale is twofold: we yearn for it, come to it, miss it, it is the Great Hope. The locale is creating a world, object of hope, advancing a plot.  In cultural terms, it is about creation and bequeathing of language, text, myth, history.

Israeliness is frequently interpreted as success in fashioning a place whose residents are its natives, who have a complete local identity. At the same time, place and localism arouse withdrawal, reservation, even disgust, as though their very realization, the whole idea of place, of the Promised Land, is liable to go sour.

It is obvious that the sense of place of Israelis does not differ from that of various people throughout the world, but the difference is the non-solution of the place, that stems from an ideological contradiction that rocks this world's "unified", Zionist place from within.  This place in the sense of Israeliness is ambivalent, burdened with belonging and alienation, proximity and remoteness, diminution and elevation.

It's about a dialogue between a close, contemporary, local living reality, and an idea.  The precedence of this idea to place implies lack of identity between the place and the idea.1

The interpretations we give to national localism and symbols of nationality, and the experiences we undergo are just explanations and transferences of things that hold onto us as much as we hold onto them, existing or imported myths, at times for ideological purposes and sometimes for political goals, identity rituals and attempts to find one's place in the location where we try to "feel at home".  These rituals sometimes give us a sense of strangeness, to the eternal struggle that may be doomed to failure, to feel part of something, to feel belongingness.  This show's works, that were created especially for it, attempt to import and to physically 'meld' the imported ideas into the Locale.

Noa Schwartz was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Vera Vladimirsky is an immigrant who has moved from many houses until she settled in Tel Aviv.

Noa Schwartz focuses on the different styles of building in the city of Tel Aviv, and especially on the "White City" that is composed of several structures in the international style, scattered among the variety of local architecture.

The White City, as it is offered for observation or tours, is along a discontinuous route among which white spots are scattered that belong to this building style.  The structures need regular, systematic renovations, a sort of backup program that seeks to return a bit of their splendor from the early days.  Noa detaches the existing objects from their original, charged surroundings, and creates renewed interest in them.

Vera Vladimirsky's works, from her point of view as an immigrant, examine the most generic locale.  Urban, peripheral, kibbutz or home scenery constitute an expression in her works of mood, cultural characteristics and history.

The works seek to consider the way the familiar environment, that was created in a climate accompanied by ethos and ceremony, by symbolism that over the ages has become collective, and a narrative that grew according to orderly principles, filled with vision, at times even "national needs", that have now become the norm, expropriated from their context, and currently altogether 'worn-through'. (from the exhibition text, written by the curator Yham Hameiri)

"Backup Plan" is on view at "Feinberg Projects" gallery through April 25, 2015.

Ori Feinberg