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The Garden of Things (Solo Exhibition)
Nahum Gutman Museum of Art 
Curator: Monica Lavi
18.11.2021 – 6.5.2022

The garden installation by Meital Katz-Minerbo (b. 1974, Israel; raised in Venezuela), is a multipurpose site: it is a shelter, hiding place, temple, nature reserve, bed, blanket, and a squatting site. In its center is a gardening shack, overflowing with vegetation of sewn and painted fabric, surrounded by various spaces in which artworks with motifs that accompany her work are distributed: an androgynous figure of a hybrid “cactus man", gardening tools, and ritual objects. This is an all-encompassing experience: the garden is a living, organic site, with a cycle of sprouting, growth, blooming and fading, a slice of nature within culture. The artist in charge works the soil and protects it against its own nature which seeks to burst through borders, ignore contours, and subvert the order. But its nature is also the artist’s nature, since Katz-Minerbo’s art actions are a guerilla action, rebellion against the art hierarchy, deconstructing art and re-assembling it: the canvas, once again common fabric, is painted and sewn; it turns into a still life pouring out of the painting’s framework to fill the shack. Like a plant always bending towards the sun, Katz-Minerbo undermines things, challenges order, subverting the earth, underneath it and underneath and outside of the surface of the painting. The theory accompanying Katz-Minerbo’s oeuvre links feminism to ecology, presenting a model for the understanding of the reciprocal relations between subjector and subject as revealed in various contexts in the history of western thought: the trinity of man-culture-settler vs. the trinity of woman-nature-native. If the act of painting is vertical, erect, and masculine, Katz-Minerbo’s oeuvre begins and grows from the ground, not only as an act of opposition but as nature itself. Her muse, disguised as a cactus, sews inanimate nature outside of the painting.


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