Sasha Serber // Batman at the Coliseum
Sasha Serber's sculptures emerge from the decadent twilight zone of classic tradition and ironically reflect a hybridity of eras and styles. Serber converts the emperor's opulence of ancient Rome into the halo of power that is associated with modern day super heroes, creating hybrid figures that connect the all-powerful Roman ruler with the heroic icon that is Batman. A pope or emperor's cloak is replaced with Batman's cape, both giving the wearer a staged appearance of self-belief.
As a Moldovan born artist who migrated to Israel in the early 1990's, Serber grasps two opposing identities simultaneously, emphasizing the process of disintegration of an old world morphing into global myths that originate in a Hollywood fantasy. While the old crumbles before his eyes – the new is unstable and lacks roots.
In his ambitious drawing installation, Serber recreates an all-encompassing architectural approach, in which the sculptures function as details of a whole, in a scene that unfolds from floor to ceiling. The sculptures, placed in their niches in a peripheral coliseum-like structure, have a classical anatomy. They are cast in a dark shade of bronze or a high polished aluminum; the materials are deceptive, moving from opaque to glossy, from "ancient" to "high tech". The hybridity is assimilated into the body of each figure, creating a 'disruption': Pinocchio's seemingly growing nose, Batman's face, a pair of stilts or a mysterious, demonic expression. Serber has been dealing with the figure of Pinocchio - always between yearning and failure, authenticity and mechanicalness - for a long time now. To Serber his character is an expression of a presence that perseveres between two worlds – a naïve, childish one that relies on the ruins of the past and a sobered, ironical world, its sights set on the wonders of the future.
Art Stage Singapore 2016