July 23 - Dec 3, 2022
Curator: Sally Haftel Naveh
Multifocal installation: mixed media and sound [sound by Nik Spivak]
Since time immemorial, journeys to distant planets have always fired the human imagination. Human beings imagine that beyond the solar system lies a captivating space, teeming with novel alien intelligence, with the potential to save humanity in the aftermath of an apocalypse. Space is the unknown: extraordinary, dangerous, volatile, but also harbouring hope; we are not alone. The possibility that other civilizations might exist somewhere out there, in galaxies lightyears away from our world, is a starting point for many auteurs in the science fiction genre in literature and film.
Exodus, Noa Yafe’s multifocal installation, takes place in the tension between the speculative and futuristic and the anachronistic, between the metaphysical and material. The entrance foyer to the Museum and its wall of exposed, Brutalist concrete are the conceptual and constructive underpinnings of the installation. The four works of which it is comprised – Om, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Golden Dawn, and Snakes and Ladders – surround the foyer,
and are revealed through an array of windows and openings like familiar and fictional cosmological landscapes that have breached the Museum’s boundaries and invaded it. Yafe challenges the museum space and subverts the architectural layout of the building by blocking passages, closing openings, rendering functional zones into display spaces, and imposing sound, lighting, and sculptural actions on the space. These transmutations create a sense of disorientation, and the entrance foyer – which is meant to mediate between the Museum’s exterior and interior – brims with the illusion of a fictional transgalactic dimension that is alien and strange.
In Exodus, Yafe continues to develop her practice – works that constantly flit between the language of photography and sculpture, between 2D and 3D. To this end, she uses replications, reflections, disruptions and games of lighting, colour, and scale to push the boundaries of the genres in which she operates. The images merge together into deceptive optical compositions, fusions of 3D elements assimilated within the building’s architecture. Yafe’s “photo dioramas” contain mythical and religious symbols from monotheism, paganism, mysticism, and spirituality, and their presence in the space is delicate and vulnerable – as though they were interstellar hybrid creatures. The array of images that can be seen through the glass panels and walls blend together the concrete and the fantastical-fictional. In a futuristic-surreal language, Yafe’s work maintains an aesthetic and thematic affinity to science-fiction cinematography of the 1960s and 1970s, in particular the iconic works by Stanley Kubrick and Alejandro Khodorovsky.
Exodus revolves around the material as well as the hypothetical, moving between a tangible present and a potential one. The need to break through boundaries into the unknown is also the need to escape from the self – only to discover, beyond the corner, that the dread of extinction and oblivion lies within us.