Absalon says “no” and still continues to live

by designspace | 05.03.13

Twenty years after his death, of age 29, Tel Aviv Museum of Art is presenting a large survey exhibition of Absalon’s major works created in his short artistic career. After the widely acclaimed retrospective at the KW, Berlin (2010-2011) there was a keen need to show his work again in Israel and especially in Tel Aviv.

Absalon – the very name of the artist Meir Eshel seems to embody his work: in ‘Absalon’ the internal and the external, function and form, the personal and the social are deeply intertwined.

The relation between interior space and exterior form, and the space in which his work is displayed was crucial for Absalon. In the course of 6 years, he developed a formal language based on geometric and spatial considerations regarding existential questions of everyday life. He created an oeuvre of increased complexity and consistency, which, although unfinished, never appear fragmentary.

Curator Susanne Pfeffer, from 02 March till 30 June 2013 at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion.

Absalon : to Be Able to live

“The Houses are constructed in three different stages. First I make sketches, which I am going to show you, and which will demonstrate the dimensions of everything. They are models of the houses on a 1 to 10 scale, you can see the model person there which gives us an idea of the dimensions. After that comes the prototype stage, which is the size of the real house, that is to say exactly as it should be except that it doesn’t work, there’s no water, no electricity, it doesn’t function, it’s like the prototype of a car or of anything else. And then the final stage is the actual construction of the actual house which is to be put in its location.”

“That art won’t be a product, a commodity – that’s hopeless. It will not be understood. It’s impossible. People are eager to understand my project, willing to be excited, but once I insist on telling them that it is not a product, there’s an obstacle. It’s something that cannot be overcome, a hindrance that cannot be skirted.”

“I would very much like to succeed in doing that, in avoiding objects. It could have been the greatest provocation I am capable of giving to the art world: not to offer anything for sale, only to be within this system with no output, without producing anything.”


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