January 14, 2021
Naama Tsabar at Ballroom Marfa
Dvir Gallery is happy to share with you Naama Tsabar’s installation Untitled (Without), 2020 currently on view in Ballroom Marfa. The Museum, facing being closed because of the pandemic, came forward with a beautiful and innovative project entitled unFlagged, to which the curators invited eight renowned artists to create a flag that would be exhibited in the courtyard of the museum allowing for visitors to experience the work without ever entering the building.
From a distance, Tsabar’s Untitled (Without), 2020, is a long piece of fabric with a rectangular cut-out. Where we expect to see a flag, we instead see empty space. In the courtyard, the flag’s details are seen and experienced on a more intimate scale. With closer inspection, the flag is made of white strips of fabric that are sewn together with colored stitches. The colors derive from the LGBTQIA+ Progress Pride Flag, an updated version of the iconic LGBT Rainbow Flag. Untitled (Without) suggests that perhaps identity is far more subtle than the bold symbols and objects that attempt to represent us.
Tsabar’s installation includes a sonic work titled Ruptures (Opus 1) featuring several voices of women singing, sighing, groaning, and breathing. Ruptures (Opus 1) explores the female musical voice as a “historically expressive anomaly, a place where a disruption of the patriarchal order happens under the cover of beauty and melody,”says the artist. As the voices reverberate throughout the courtyard alongside the flag, we are reminded to recognize the unseen and undefined that can hold power.
In her work Naama Tsabar has been addressing the question of reappropriating of space. Much like in the work above, keeping part of the flag missing or open, she succeeds to point the viewers focus what is excluded, omitted.
We invite you to have a look at Tsabar’s previous works we picked that can put this new piece in the context of this aspect of her practice.
In the work above, the artist invited Shifra Shalit (owner of Dvir Gallery) to list names of historical and/or contemporary female identifying and gender non-conforming artist that have influenced her over the course of her life. The list is then transcribed in Tsabar’s handwriting onto the gallery wall. The wall with the list on it is cut out from the architecture leaving a hole that remains throughout the duration of the exhibition. The cut out wall is then hung at the entry to the gallery. This work quite literally cuts into the structures around us, dedicating them to those artists, who have been historically overlooked, forgotten or ignored.
Names: Arundhati Roy, Aziza Brahim, Tania Bruguera, Aviva Uri, Chantal Akerman, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Marian Anderson, Clarice Lispector, Alejandra Pizarnik, Ana Mendieta, Anouk Aimée, Alina Szapocznikov
For Without, booth’s floor was removed from inside Frieze Art Fair New York, leaving a negative space in void that exposed the grass of the park where the art fair took place on. The floor and its apparatus, now an object, was then positioned outside the main tent where it functioned as a stage for a mini music festival that coincided with the art fair.
Tsabar, reclaimed the floor, a piece of the most precious real-estate in New York City, providing that space to female alternative musicians, literally giving them a stage.
To curate the festival Mindy Abovitz, the creator and editor in chief of Tom Tom Magazine, was invited; Tom Tom is the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. The festival hosted 16 bands all with female drummers or beat makers. Showcasing mostly New York-based bands, crossing genres and exhibiting different levels of skill, supporting Tom Tom‘s agenda to dispel myths about women musicians.
Supported by Artis Grant Program.
In the photography series ‘Untitled (Body Wall)’, Tsabar’s body penetrates and intertwines with walls in the artist’s studio. The sensual encounter becomes an act of destruction and disruption by breaking through walls or borders.
‘Work on Felt’ is an ongoing series of work where raw industrial felt is transformed into modifiable stringed instruments. Through the addition of carbon fiber, piano strings and guitar tuning pegs, the felt pieces gain new features that contradict their natural character. One is immediately confronted with their minimal design and then given a chance to directly engage the work itself by plucking the strings, creating sounds from them. Tightening or loosening the strings changes the degree of the bowing of the sculptures and the sound they make. The transformative nature of the work is such that the appearance of the sculptures, their erectness or flatness, directly corresponds to the pitch they produce.