AGAMIM - Segments from Noa Hazan's text
Sharon Glazberg's show, at the Tavi Dresdner gallery, displays sculptures of fossils, vestiges of fauna and flora, and fabricated futuristic humans.
Environments where prehistoric human activity had once taken place can be recognized by the presence of animal bones and charred wood. Often these relics are buried under layers of deposit, laid down over millions of years. The layering process brings to mind the lining of clothes - the layer closest to the body - and also the stomach lining, inside the body, where everything is digested as it comes in.
The lining/layering analogy is represented in Glazberg's work by poured concrete, both as a raw material and as a physical act, as a positive and also as a negative. In the looped video piece, the flowing concrete is the positive of the quarry and the lake, filling the void, compensating, replenishing, and correcting wrongs. It suggests the idea that even the glorious monuments of the current age will one day become just another layer of concrete dust.
While in the video work the concrete is the content of the body itself, in the Vines piece it functions as a lining, a second skin - close, but always on the outside. The vine trunks were stripped, their outer layer removed, and then encased in concrete. The Artist repeatedly poured concrete over the stripped vines, dried, and polished it. The vine trunks, with cattle hooves attached to them, look like a warped, mutated animal. Van Gogh's twisted, color-laden trees emerge from the collective memory.
Glazberg's sculptures imitate remains, skeletons, shells, and fossils, expelled from the past into the artist's hands, which are also the hands of a zoologist, an anthropologist, or a future archaeologist. Glasberg thinks of her new sculptures as of archaeological and zoological artifacts, which interfere with Science's attempt to establish a dependable and clear time line. She is toying with the idea that one day her concrete layers will be explored as relics by a deliberately misled zoologist.
Visitors to the gallery are greeted by a piece constructed from odds and ends of animals which are grafted into an invented creature. A concrete fishtail is joined to a gilded carnivore's jaw. The golden fish, as in the famous story of the fisherman's wife, is both the helpless victim caught in the net, and the merciless avenger who punishes the fisherman and his greedy wife. At the end, they remain as poor as they were in the beginning, suggesting the inevitable cycle of starting and finishing points.
As a custodian of the remains of the past, the artist views her archaeological and zoological findings not as sacred relics but rather as a point of new beginnings, a potential new story to be told.
Another video work presents a ritual reminiscent of a rite of passage, the acceptance of a young boy into adult society. According to Derida, establishing the authority of a father and the transfer of the patriarchal order from father to son are essential to the prospect of collecting and preserving memories. The ceremony ends harmonically, symmetrically. The boy has passed all the tests, the father is satisfied, the perpetuation of the tribe and its memories is safeguarded, and the patriarchal law is preserved for the future.