Michal Helfman: Dear A.S.A/P
The exhibition deals with the artistic image in times of crisis and uncertainty. Michal Helfman features attempts of settling the artistic act in frontier zones that are in constant change, by creating deserted and haunted spaces reminiscent of border controls, prison facilities and, alternately, the backstage areas in museums and theaters. The exhibition has two entrances leading to two different zones: the Time route and the Show route. The breaking of the expression “showtime” points to the exhibition’s two axes: one deals with the axis of time (history, present and future) while the other deals with the act of performance and show (human and artistic).
At the center of the exhibition, the video work Dear A.S.A/P relates the tale of the artist A/P 3, living in a hostile, enclosed environment, who is invited by Anne Sibylle Schwetter, curator of the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus Museum in Osnabrück, Germany, to exhibit his work in dialog with Nussbaum’s work. Like Nussbaum, who worked in hiding in Germany and Belgium during the 1930s and 1940s, A/P 3’s movement is limited, and he realizes his work through a group of exiled artists callings itself Edition of X. By fusing real and fictitious figures and narratives from the past and present, Helfman examines the option of finding a new route for creating within a limited space or a dead end. Helfman merges, in video and installation, the two plots, the Show and Time routes, into one tangled web of relationships that resonate questions about the ways in which art can change.
The exhibition was made possible thanks to the Israeli Lottery Council for the Culture and Arts, the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport Independent Creators Fund, the Ostrovsky Family Foundation and Il Collection, France; and supported by Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Osnabrück and Outset Contemporary Art Fund–Bialik Residency