Dina Shenhav

Dina Shenhav
Dina Shenhav, Scenario, Gutman Art Museum, 2011
Scenario installation view

Shenhav’s works invite the spectator to tour through paths
filled with destruction and ruin, and as such, poses challenges
to familiar ways of observing, expanding the horizons of
preconceived notions of beauty. Consequently, passing through
the bodies of cut down trees unravels sites of deficiency. Axis
which cuts through periods and territories, intersections devoid
of consolation, all dominated by disaster.
This is a poetry which searches for a way of listening to
that which can not be heard immediately, quantified and classified
with scientific apparatus, and organized into reasonable
categories. It does not provide an explanation, and does not endeavor
to exchange one thing for the other, it does not withdraw
into the identical, but allows moments of proximity, closeness,
the simultaneous appearance of a thing and its opposite as evidence
of a complex experience which is full of contradictions.
We can also begin to read Shenhav’s work from a place of
correspondence with creative and literary traditions which by
default contain a form of criticism and negation. In the sense
that although the damaged body, the cut down tree, the image
of the glass shard or the broken stone, a piece of the sponge—
all of these are irreparable, they cease to give into past sorrows.
They appear as amputated limbs, devoid of life, composed
of sponge and cut down tree trunks which are meticulously
arranged according to shape and size. The piece, End of the
forest—the continuation or completion of an earlier piece titled
Dog (2001)—suggests an absence of life. These names or
objects allude to Albrecht Durer’s bronze etching. In his etching
Melencholia I (1514), the figure of a woman wrapped in
wings sits bent over and still, with an expression of hopelessness
and cessation on her blackened face. A whining dog lies
on the ground with a crystal cast by her side. The etching, like
Shenhav’s sculpture, connects between despondent and hopeless
drawings generated from inanimate objects, and geometrical,
mathematical scenarios or mystical configurations and
measuring devices, all a part of the same negative prophecy concerning
the false promise of the world of technology.
Text: Michal Ben-Horin, from: Paths of Destruction






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