Michal Rovner: Video, Sculpture, Installation
June 28, 2008 - November 9, 2008

Michal Rovner
More. 2003..
Projected digital video.. Dimensions variable.
Photo courtesy the artist and PaceWildenstein. Michal Rovner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


The dazzling video installations of the Israeli-American artist Michal Rovner project teeming masses of anonymous, little figures onto the walls of a room or large rocks. The figures appear to crawl over the flat planes and craggy surfaces, giving a sense of mass humanity and de-humanization, of a dynamic culture, and of man’s vulnerability and insignificance in a large society. These silhouetted figures strike an eerie balance between reality and an invented universe. Rovner is like a scientist looking at the world through a microscope; indeed, some of her pieces resemble Petri dishes.

Various adjectives, sometimes contradictory, come to mind to describe the imagery created:  haunting, lonely, poetic, graceful, minimalist, busy, and, above all, mesmerizing. Michal Rovner’s art transcends genres. Her work involves photography, video, sculpture, installations, light, motion, three dimensions, and two dimensions.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Rovner explained her work [paraphrased here]:

I think I'm not presenting some kind of conclusion to people. Rather, I'm inviting them to come in and experience something, which hopefully would present some questions to them about their own viewpoint or their own stand. It's something that has to do with humanity that is displayed, and the whole question of when is order less humanistic than you would like it to be, or when this order threatens humanity or to what degree you would like to participate in that. I'm not an illustrator.

In that same interview, Rovner explained the role of ambiguity in her work:
It is ambiguous to the degree that it is not giving specific details or conclusions or directions of how one should read it…. All I'm offering is another look at something, another viewpoint. But that thing is not just anything, it is very specific, and carefully chosen, it is very worked out. I'm very specific in my work, which appears to be very non-specific.

Rovner is a mid-career artist who has achieved much-deserved attention on an international scale. She has represented Israel in the Venice Biennale—a highly acclaimed presentation—and she had a retrospective in 2002 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition, her art has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Gallery, among many other institutions. Rovner’s work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  She is represented by the PaceWildenstein Gallery in New York.

This exhibition is curated by Chief Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Dr. Kenneth Wayne.

Funding provided by Jane A. and Barton A. Shallat, and the Consulate General of Israel, Office of Cultural Affairs.



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