Sep 07 – Oct 20, 2012
Girl-to-Gorilla is Tamar Harpaz’s first solo exhibition at Sommer Contemporary Art. The exhibition marks the culmination of a research process that traces the origins of cinema. In this exhibition as well, Harpaz turns to producing a new kind of film, whose materials unravel in the space of the gallery. Unlike her previous “films,” the current exhibition is the product of prolonged staring at the screen of her home computer. The red velvet seats of the cinema are exchanged for Harpaz’s bed, and long hours in front of the flat computer screen transform it into a gateway to a private rabbit hole, awash in an endless sea of reflections. Between makeshift glass structures, simple lighting and household objects, ghosts appear, flicker, and disappear. Employing magic techniques from the 19th century, the evidence of a crime is revealed gradually, and the viewer is invited to wander through the apparatus creating the image and uncover the magician’s secrets. A close read leads to solving the mystery and allows visitors to escape the room.
Until now, Tamar Harpaz has relied on hammer and screwdriver to disassemble the beginnings of film and expose the components that comprise this playground of the real world. Harpaz’s work space functions simultaneously like an amusement park, a home archive and a laboratory, synthesizing the medium’s core principles of motion and translating them into alternative media, risking their new possible incarnations. In her present work, old pirated mechanical films (alluded to in Harpaz’s past works as well) give way to the most basic mechanism: reflection. More than raising a nostalgic revival of the medium, the work is tuned into the soft footsteps of the specters of cinema in the locked rooms of home entertainment.
– Oded Wolkstein