Magazine article Artforum International

Michal Rovner: MACRO Al Mattatoio/Studio Stefania Miscetti

Magazine article Artforum International

Michal Rovner: MACRO Al Mattatoio/Studio Stefania Miscetti

Article excerpt

The dynamic between the solitude of individuals and their relationship with others is the subject of two works Michal Rovner created for the spaces of MACRO Al Mattatoio, in Rome's Testaccio neighborhood. Arena, 2003, is a large video installation consisting of projections on both floor and walls. The central image, a warped square filled with small figures, is projected onto a floor of close-packed sand. The figures at the top and bottom are standing, while those on the right and left sides are squeezed into a flattened perspective. At the center of the square, a man struggles with a bear--the symbol, according to Jung, of the dangerous aspect of the unconscious.

In the four double projections on the walls--like open books showing the same image on both pages--a multitude of small red and black figures, arranged in parallel rows, roll against a white background. They seem to be waving and gesticulating toward the fight in the arena, like exuberant spectators at a sports event, yet also seem to be signaling some danger. In the reiteration of their movements, repeated in a loop, the figures vainly attempt to assume individual identities: They are indefinite, indistinct, and anonymous, yet recognizable by their repetition of characteristic gestures.

Group membership is a prerequisite for survival, but it dissolves individual identity--an idea Rovner also explored in Time Left, 2002, a large installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York that was re presented at the 2003 Venice Biennale. While it's impossible to separate the existential condition expressed by Rovner from the situation of her native Israel, or from the dramatic conflicts that mark its history, she does not explicitly address anything political. Rather, she blurs the boundary between the personal and political as she does that between realism and abstraction, opting for an open-ended narration without territorial or cultural definitions but touching on universal themes that pertain to humanity's collective experience. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.