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Carmela Weiss – “Like Water in Water”


Carmela Weiss’ solo exhibition “Like Water in Water”[1] is the result of an "ethnographic research" that outlines filed-work in a fictional world, in another time.

The exhibition, curated by Assi Meshullam, presents a mysterious fantastical world, whose landscapes are barren and that vacillates upon the tension between wild and primal nature and a formed cultural identity. This world is inhabited by ape-like creatures, which appear to uphold their own culture, and are preoccupied with internal affairs and various social situations. The places in which they live oscillate between an apocalyptic desolateness of a world that was and had been destroyed, and primordial landscapes of a world that had not yet been created. It is a parable of the absurd human existence, isolated in the universe. An existence that fluctuates between its self-acknowledgment as an evolutionary pinnacle, and its being a primitive starting point to a development that has not even begun.

The central work in the exhibition depicts a journey, whose origin is unknown and whose end and purpose are not clear either. During the course of the journey, various rituals and social activities transpire. It is unclear whether the journey is for the purpose of confrontation or escape, or perhaps it is a gathering for cultural formation; or perhaps the journey has ended, and they are about to witness a revelation. Whether what is portrayed happened in the past and remains as a memory, or about to happen.

In another work, the creatures appear to be gathered, conducting discussions in small groups by a fence. It is uncertain whether they are inside or outside the fence; it is unclear whether they are before or after the journey. There are no signs of tension or concern, but rather there is excitement in anticipation of something that is about to happen.

Additionally exhibited are a painting and photograph of the village the creatures had abandoned in order to commence the journey, what they had left behind, depictions of gatherings, places where they dwelled, such as the “Source of Many Waters”, an installation, a pool made of volcanic stone, as well as the places they avoided, and the Myth of “The Moon-navel People”, which was transcribed from them and written by Professor Nahum Megged.

[1] “Every animal is in the world like water in water״ [Georges Bataille, Theory of Religion (New York: Zone Books, 1989) 19].

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