Past Exhibitions

Shai Zvi Horodi Pharynx

Shai Tzvi Horodi: Pharynx

Moreover he said unto me, Son of man […] eat this roll […] So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. […] Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. (Ezekiel, 3:1–3)

The exhibition presents three works from 2015 by Shai Tzvi Horodi; two were exhibited at the graduation exhibition of the Faculty of Arts—Hamidrasha, Beit Berl College last July, and one is a newer, later work.

Three short, silent video works from the artist's performative oeuvre, which documents actions that share an interest in change, breaking boundaries and examining the boundaries of separation between the self and the non-self, the body's stamina and the tolerance of institutions. Each video could be said to document a transformative process of digestion, of metabolism taking place within a system of a changing object, and a locus—the pharynx—where the change occurs.

The videos belong to the home-video genre, a kind of video-selfie. The artist shoots them using a stationary camera. Their web reference is evident not only in their character and the low technology of their execution, but also in the knowledge on which the activities described in them is based.
Each video documents a procedure of change in the artist's body, and is accompanied in the exhibition with objects that initiated or caused the work or are its product.

In the video Nine Stolen Items, Horodi disappears into the Dizengoff Center shopping mall as a young man and emerges from it as a woman. The fast gender-change is achieved through items—clothes, a book, a small pair of scissors, female deodorant and tweezers—all stolen from shops in the mall. The items are exhibited alongside the video.

In the video Development, Horodi is sitting in a café, ordering coffee and water and, using washing powder and vitamin C which he has brought along, prepares a development fluid that he then puts in his mouth together with a photographic film. According to Horodi, "the body serves as a closed space in a public area and implements the separation, necessary for the camera's work, between exterior and interior." The photograph developed from the film is exhibited alongside the video.

In the later video work, Eating the Raffi Lavie Scholarship, Horodi is seen cutting up the banknotes of the Raffi Lavie Scholarship that he was awarded from Hamidrasha, Beit Berl College upon graduation, mixing them in food and eating the money. Alongside the video, a document attesting to the scholarship is presented, together with one banknote that remained whole. Horodi has noted that the encounter with the award was actually a "surplus of the desire to receive it on the highest symbolical level (like partaking of the sacrament, which is the body of Christ) by transubstantiation. Converting one symbolical meaning of the notes—money—through destroying it, in another symbolical meaning, through the digestive system."

An "instant" gender change, endangering himself with theft, with secret bugging, with damaging his digestive system, with turning internal organs into working tools—all characterize the work of Horodi; these are tactics of emergency, of crossing boundaries and self-sacrifice, where the individual is willing to take physical and social risks in his erotic relationships with the challenges and the systems which he faces.



Friday 25 September 2015


Saturday 02 January 2016


Laurence Graff Contemporary Art Gallery, Herta and Paul Amir Building


Ellen Ginton

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