Hands, 2017, Michaela (Mika) Orstav
Video (1:30 min.)
Michaela (Mika) Orstav, b. 1977
The video work created by the ceramic artist Michaela Mika Orstav captures the creation of a vessel in the absence of clay or a potter's wheel. Only her hands are seen in action, as if dancing through the air while shaping an invisible vessel in a slow and careful process. As she recounts: “My research began when I introduced a camera into my studio. The camera gradually penetrated my work and began occupying a central place in it. I began documenting numerous actions from different angles, and reexamining the familiar things I produce with my own hands.” The Biennale’s curators chose to exhibit this video work as part of a display in the Ceramics Pavilion, which demonstrates the way large storage vessels were fashioned in the past. Yet whereas this display showcases large pithoi on a potter's wheel, Orstav’s work underscores the presence of the potter and her craft. In this manner, a work process unfolding throughout history, is rendered visible before our eyes. This work, and its location alongside ancient clay vessels, demonstrates how experienced potters have been moving their hands with intriguing skill, like a second nature, from ancient times to the present.
On display at the Ceramics Pavilion, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.