THE INVISIBILITY OF PLANTS (Solo Exhibition)
The Gallery Apart, Via Francesco Negri 43, Roma
The Gallery Apart is proud to present The Invisibility of Plants, the second solo show hosted in the gallery spaces of Meital Katz-Minerbo, an Israeli artist based in Tel Aviv. The artist continues to investigate key concepts in the history and chronicles of her country, while touching on sensitive matters that relate to the human condition. She stresses the definitions of gender through an ironic underlining of attitudes typical of male hegemony’s representation. She questions the meaning of housing and territory, in connection to concepts of mobility, permanence and nomadism, pointing out Ethics, especially in reference to their absence. Katz-Minerbo denotes the use of the body as an instrument of social status through garments and accessories used to cover and adorn it, as a platform for dialogue between humans, objects and the environment.
To lead us to question ourselves on these issues, Katz-Minerbo has given life in the last two years to the Cactus Man, a character that has become central in the practice of the artist focused on giving visual representations to definitions of otherness. The Cactus Man is a hybrid that combines a plant with a human being. Despite his monstrous appearance, he became well placed in the high ranks of society. His versatility and agile mobility inside capitalist structures allowed him to become wealthy. The Cactus Man is a thief. His skin is endless, for that his shape has no limits. Clothes are his skin; they cover his aberrant semblance in order to make him hard to recognize. He has two voices with two different accents, emitting sounds that contain the knowledge of two epochs. The Cactus Man is an empty shape ready to be filled.
The Cactus Man takes over the gallery spaces. He takes them up temporarily, as his style is based on mobility dictates and in line with the perennially changing conceptions of territory and body. A series of personal objects are disseminated in the gallery space alluding to a domestic place. They indicate the different areas of a specific and unknown home: a dining room, a bedroom and a basement. The group of objects can be easily put in a suitcase to be transported from the current residence to the next, where they will be displayed again, always maintaining the same sense of familiarity. It is not the traditional sedentary home. Katz-Minerbo presents an ever-moving house, a nomadic idea of a house belonging to a nomadic subject.
The ground floor of the house is structured as a normal private home; a bed that recalls the human nature of Cactus Man. The living area, with artworks on the walls, clothes on the hanger, a mirror, shelves to empty the pockets and a large table full of accessories, personal items and anything else Cactus Man uses to settle his relationship with the world. The basement is obscure and gloomy, as a less defined area of the house it represents the dark side of the Cactus Man. This is the room where the Capital takes part in commercial transactions. Two chairs placed inside a space that brings to mind a storage area, together with piles of paintings and a small amount of light that emanates from a monitor and a sculpture are the testimony of the act that took place there.
The Invisibility of Plants offers an original interpretation, reflected by the Cactus Man character, of an intellectual urgency that questions contemporaneity and highlights the end of anthropocentrism. Through the prism of the post-human criticism the superiority of the human over "other" living beings it's questioned and reformulated into new structures of hierarchy and bodily forms. Meital Katz-Minerbo relates to the post-human discourse by exploiting the theme of the hybrid, so dear to the post-modern art of the last twenty years, with the intention to create a visual mediation between the variety of subjects that exists in this ever changing world.