Intervals | Curator: Liora Belford

‘Intervals’, Yonatan Levi and Shay Id Alony’s mutual exhibition, wishes to examine the way the individual realizes his validity through dialogue with the other.

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Levy arouses life in the intervals between his figures; he seeks to discern the body language, the gestures and the dialogue between them. He draws them up to the point where they no longer exist on their own and then leaves them be, entwined in one another, consisting of each other, fulfilled by each other as if they lack independent validation.

On the other hand, Shay Id Alony exhibits the wounded towers which he first exhibited at ‘Art TLV’ in 2009. Id Alony’s towers are exhibited as a cluster of phallic elements which present modern architecture that conquers space - aggressive, ostentatious and dynamic. The timeless human will to reach the highest peak and beyond, initially created a contest between man and nature, but soon became a social class battlefield between man and himself, over the wish to be stronger and to supremely control the territory, to reach higher and faster. Id Alony’s wounded towers exhibit the dialectics in the need to differentiate oneself from the other, only in order to control it, without the wish to genuinely be separated from it.

The meeting between Levy and Id Alony, as a visual discussion, is in this sense part of an on-going issue that deals with the human being as a socio-political creature, as described by Aristotle in his book “Politics” by ‘Zoon Politikon’ (and likewise throughout history; Nietzsche, Levinas, Buber, Marx, Heidegger, De-Beauvoir and many others).

With intense colorfulness and ecstatic sensuality, Yonatan Levy wishes to refine the emotions created in the intervals between us. Through talks with the artist, Levy clarified that he adopted a look which explores human gestures and manners in every-day situations, like a tourist in a foreign land trying to decipher what is being said without understanding the spoken language. Levy wishes to recreate in his studio what he saw, allowing the painting to dictate its needs. Levy does not preplan his figures - they are created in an exhausting process that follows their interaction. By doing so, he is creating an optimistic experience which sometimes seems like collective auto-erotica, that stops when there is no more space for movement.

On the other hand, Id Alony exhibits a supervised look against an improvised future. His towers carry internal conflict. They are made of industrial leftovers - soft wood which the artist collected over two years, cut, deformed, piled as towers. Id Alony created a collection in which a struggle exists within, like the one we witness within us every time a new tower is being built in the heart of an arbitrary neighborhood in Tel-Aviv. Id Alony’s towers are both different and surprisingly similar to each other - their uniqueness seems irrelevant, since they draw their strength from grouping together.

In his book “Being and Time” (Sein und Zeit), Heidegger talks about the everyday mode in which we insist on establishing ourselves as different, and when we think we succeed in doing so, we are only perpetuating the way in which the other controls us. Our selfhood is being stolen from us when the other steals our being as a singular. Id Alony exhibits, through dialogue between objects, questions about the individual’s power as opposed to the group he belongs to. With choice or without, he questions the human need to be part of a group and the aggression within, versus the grace and compassion of accepting the other.

Yonatan Levy and Shay Id Alony present two alternatives of potential attitudes to the other - an instrumental mode versus a human one. Levy exhibits in his paintings moments of sublime interpersonal dialogue which exist only when man meets the divine, through the meeting with the other. On the other hand, Id Alony indicates the alienation that exists in the interpersonal experience in the modern world, when a person meets his fellow-man with a utilitarian attitude. This attitude does not have to be fundamentality evil or manipulative and seems to be the case in our everyday experience. But at the core of our existence, it carries the power to define us.