Rakefet Viner Omer / Hand & Tongue

Ori Feinberg
Nov 21, 2014 10:17AM

Rakefet Viner Omer's paintings and sculptures in her solo exhibition "Hand & Tongue" present expressions of insignificant, repressed "phenomena" that are usually precluded from exhibitions.  Rakefet Viner Omer's feminine discourse focuses on the marginal and the minor, both as social- political reality and as symbolic reality in the realm of language.  This discourse creates an opening for multiple, heterogeneous types of discourse,

Striving toward highlighting the "bodily dimension" of abstract knowledge, while equalizing the physical dimension with what has been repressed, and seeks out a way to burst forth into visibility.

Her works contain a restructuring of femininity through release from traditional narratives.  Relating to the tradition of "ready-made" of Marcel Duchamp, through the post-modern sculptures of Jeff Koons, Viner Omer's paintings continue the expressions of "intimacy" with defiance.  Their esthetics are drawn from paintings on the walls of public restrooms, which serve as a cultural "no-man's land".  These paintings appear to 'suffer' from lack of cohesion and lack of logical fluency, and their arbitrary, frenetic nature is intentionally emphasized.

It's precisely by means of the lack of selectivity, as it were, that the range of action is broadened to an un-interpreted dimension.  The female figure appearing in the paintings, either fully or in part, refuses to be labeled by clichés, refuses to be an instantly deciphered message subject to the laws of marketing of melodramatic "desire".  Quite the opposite, the woman obtained here is flesh and blood, a woman that uses her bodily parts instead of speech, whose presence is simultaneously also her absence.

For poetess Yona Wallach, as well, words are a kind of fetishistic object to be glanced at, serving sometimes as conduits, as agents of 'peeking' through which the world is observed in its uncovered, nearly pornographic state.  In Wallach's poems, just as in Viner Omer's paintings, the 'symbolic order' of language is unraveled.  The names of the works in this exhibition emphasize this:  Yellow on Yellow, Horse on Horse, Let's Smell What Isn't.

Through the keyhole, I, the feminine voyeur, am found; Wallach's wild metaphors are like Viner Omer's figures, intended to reveal a world of libidinal freedom, fantasies of girls and fantasies of a hedonistic capitalistic society, in a deep crisis of identity.

The female body appears as an injured body, one in the throes of distress.  It is a body in a state of loss, swinging between its existence as a body and its existence as a corpse.  The artist, by rejecting the old divisions of sexuality, its hegemonic hierarchies, seeks a third type, of a hermaphroditic nature.  Like Wallach, she presents us with – and even plays with – the rigid definitions of sexuality, breathing into them the appearance of a "standard deviation", enthusiasm and granting permission.

Yham Hameiri, October 2014


Rakefet Viner Omer, 1965, holds a BA in psychology and cinema from Tel Aviv University (1990), has studied art therapy at Hamidrasha School of Art (1993), Fine Art studies at Hamidrasha School of Art (2000), and received a Masters in Fine Arts at Bezalel (2007). Her works have been exhibited at various solo and group shows at museums in Israel: the Haifa Museum, Bat Yam Museum, Ein Harod Museum, Yanco Dada Museum, Artists' Workshops in Tel Aviv, as well as in many galleries throughout Israel. She has won various prizes, including: the Miron Sima Prize (2010); Prize for Promotion of Creativity from the Ministry of Culture and Sports (2008). This is her second solo show with the gallery.

"Hand & Tongue" is on view at "Feinberg Projects" gallery through December 6, 2014.

Ori Feinberg