The Disk Cutters, 2017, Yael Oren Sofer
Photo: Yael Gazit
Oil on Canvas, clay, mixed media
Yael Oren Sofer, b. 1983
“This work is part of a series featured in my solo exhibition ‘Building Codes.’ I was invited to present my works in Umm el-Fahem, and felt a need to attend to the place and to the Jewish-Arab encounter. I followed my partner in life, who is a carpenter, to the construction sites in which he worked. These sites do not require one to follow the rules of decorum, and do not underscore political tensions. I was fascinated by the construction process, documenting it and creating life-size paintings of the workers in the studio. On the one hand, I admire the male model of the artisan whose livelihood is based on manual labor, yet I also have a critical take on the male penchant for tools, and their frequent lack of attention.
The Jewish or Arab identity of the workers became blurred, as the mounting of the installations in the studio raised another question: To what degree do the actions of the men, who know how to build and destroy, shape our reality?
The painterly installations enable me to create a world whose space is in fact the exhibition space. They are dynamic, and can change depending on the space. In the course of the creative process, they grow until the image feels whole, and they are not beholden to the painterly format that I decided on before their completion.”
On display at the Rothschild Gallery, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.