• installation
  • performance

La distance entre V et W
Exibition from March 13 to May 16, 2015
open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm.

For her first solo exhibition in France, marking the culmination of her residency at the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers which began in October 2014, Amsterdam-based Israeli artist Yael Davids has designed an installation that takes hold of space, exploring the notions of territorial limits, their implications, and the cultural meanings objects convey across their temporal and geographic shifts and displacements.

The installation contains some of Yael David’s chosen materials, glass and clay plaster, articulating opacity and transparency through elements pertaining to a visual vocabulary familiar to the artist (large black surfaces, vernacular ceramic, transparent walls, etc.), enabling her to symbolise a reflection she conducts at the intersection of individual and collective experiences, of rootedness and migration, and of the movements of proximity and distance.

By deploying what could be described as a specific relation to the site of sculpture, Davids’ installation becomes a landscape, the panoramic view of a place. Yet the installation confines the visitor’s movements in a space that produces a boundary/border experience, to the point of almost entirely excluding the possibility of a body in its midst.

While her previous installations were grounded in a notion of interdependence between exhibition and performance — where the exhibition documents the performance, and the performance activates the exhibition — the Laboratoires exhibition focuses on the sculptural dimension. The artist has operated a horizontal shift — that of the large black screen featuring in some of her recent installations, such as Ending with glass in Basel in 2011. This slippage from wall to floor transforms the status of the surface, going from screen to expanse, from mirror to territory.

In her recent performance scripts, Yael Davids locate her work in relation to a form of sculpture apprehended as place and as gravity. The place of sculpture, which could also be both the place of the artwork and the place of dwelling. And gravity as weight, the weight of bodies, objects and history.

Placing in this site a glass structure containing objects that refer to a domestic context provokes the landscape through the still life. The case, a reference to the wonder-rooms that are the indirect ancestors of the museum, is at once a sculptural object that can be approached from all sides and the miniature reduction of a much larger space. A space within a space, this container and showcase of objects is both a generator of narratives and the ‘hub’ of these multiple stories.

Moreover, still lifes are drawn by Yael Davids which reproduces objects bought by the artist at Aubervilliers. They document the infinite possibilities of display and stories these objects tell.

Yael Davids’ work has a singular way of linking two seemingly contradictory sculptural dimensions: abstraction and narration. By engaging with a history that is both national (that of a burgeoning nation)¬ and individual (her own life story), Yael Davids constructs a project in which sculpture joins the body and space as a site of reception and activation of the conflicts that have in part shaped her life.


Special thanks to André von Bergen / Set Designer
and thanks to Don de Boer and Lola Schroder