The signs that mock me as I go
Paper, cellphone, raspberry pi, headphones, inkjet print on paper and PVC
HD video 00:30 with sound
Animation in loop, no sound.
The signs that mock me as I go seems to reflect the artist's wish to filter the world around us, in a way that will blur the functional perspective with which we normally look at our surroundings.
This intention is realized when Rotem Gerstel interferes with the inherent characteristics of the most foundational element that defines our spatial experience : the white wall. Here, its sharp straight lines are being distorted into undulations - that exceed its familiar limits and by that breaks its alleged two-dimensionality. With its new non-proportional volumes, the wall becomes a bit less clear, as if it was returning to its basic components : lights and shades. The vague focus is manifested as well in the photograph presenting an oil platform in the not-so-far horizon ; an artistic action that comes to destabilize the existence of this environmental menace. Thus, a different angle to examine our boundaries is proposed. Gerstel invites us to haze our concrete reality by obfuscating our sight, releasing the common logic that structures our ordinary point of view, or simply put, by dreaming.
The necessity of this gesture becomes coherent while juxtaposed to the picnic table animation. This mundane object resonates the relationship of domestication between human and nature in which sitting on the ground and sharing a more direct contact with the land it outcasts. The animated movement of the wooden planks in this piece provoke a nervous impatience, alluding to the fatigue with which we experience reality nowadays : with an incessant need to be excited and intrigued, our actual environment becomes dull, almost monochromatic.
Whereas the black hole video hanging from the ceiling responds to this vapidity, while ingesting the recognizable into the void. Watching this video, we are brought into a zone where foreknowledge and experience cannot serve us anymore. The black hole offers a sort of system-failure, in which we return to the state of Tabula Rasa where we can imagine other possible modes of living.
Text by Noam Alon