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Spotlight of the Week

June 24, 2010

Spotlight of the Week returns with this week’s featured artist, Ofri Cnaani!

Israeli-born artist Ofri Cnaani creates video-work and drawings that deal with multiple themes- including domination, gender roles, architecture, history, and the function of spatial organization.

Through her exploration of the various themes, Cnaani’s artwork “seeks to dissolve spatial distinctions between reality and mythical realms”.   She has held two solo exhibitions here at Andrea Meislin Gallery, The Colonel and I (2005) and Two Dimensional Days (2007).  Both exhibitions were about the artist’s concentration on power-relations, gender roles, and the nature of visuality.

More recently, Ofri has been working on her moviemakers.  These DIY low-tech, portable moviemakers are constructed of overhead projectors and rotating Plexiglas disks.  The result is a romantic-like whimsical experience. Cnaani’s presence, the use of cut-outs, small toys, and mirrors creates a simple yet multi-dimensional experience that challenges preconceptions of modern visual entertainment.  Cnaani performed “Vanishing Woman” and “Turn Tables” at her June 12th show at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center.

The Sota Project, Ofri Cnaani’s latest video installation, takes her previous interests and brings them to a new level.  This large-scale installation reenacts the controversial Talmudic story of jealousy, trust, and mortal love.  Check back for more information on the project’s Fall 2010 premiere at Kunsthalle Gallapagos in Brooklyn, New York.

“The four walls of the exhibition space will be covered by video projections allowing the narrative to develop in time and space in parallel. Not only a “moving picture” but an narrative and will offer a new form of a ‘spatial narrative’…Sota is an attempt to create a hybrid between ancient media and new media both visually and literally”.

Cnaani’s use of the space will present a parallel picture of the alternate truths experienced by each character.  The spectator of the exhibition becomes enveloped into the surrounding scenes and the “spectator’s movement within the space echoes that of the protagonist’s, activating the viewer’s body as the narrative develops”.

Ofri Cnaani received her MFA from Hunter College in 2004.  She has received solo shows at the Network of Lombardy Contemporary Art Museum in Italy (2009), the Haifa Museum of Art (2006) and the Herzliya Museum of Art (2003).  Her drawings and video works have been shown in numerous exhibitions. Cnaani is a Six Points Fellow and twice the winner of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation award. She currently lives and works in New York, NY.

Watch video excerpts from “The Vanishing Woman” and “Turn Table” here!

Watch the trailer to the Sota Project here!

For additional information on Ofri Cnaani and her work please visit http://ofricnaani.com or our website!

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