In the past, beacons were used to function as a kind of lighthouse for marking dangerous places for boats at sea. The smoke tower in the work Lighthouse functions almost as a reverse lighthouse – light at the bottom and thick smoke rising from the top. Unlike the lighthouse, which is intended to help you get your bearings, the smoke rises and blocks the view towards the horizon. It doesn’t mark the presence of land – it is situated between the sea and the sea. It is fueled by burning oil and develops and grows from the water on the background of the air. The land is missing from the picture. Water, air, fire, and smoke; these are images that lack lines of definition, substances that are not solid and cannot be felt, in constant movement, not holding any form of stability.
The image of the tires in flames evokes situations of community unrest, of chaos and social anger, of uncontrolled reactions linked to the impulse to demonstrate “against” something.
One of the principal challenges of the work Fire Tire is the attempt to “give form” to one of the most elusive things in existence, smoke. The simplicity of the materials from which the work is made contrasts with the significance of the themes and the images selected and with the rigor discernible in the design and realization. The discrepancy gives rise, in Weinstein’s work, to short-circuits of meaning and raises questions about the relations that can exist “between interpretation and experience, between expression and opinion”.
Only by dealing with the complexity of the present and taking responsibility for the problems, the uncertainties, the diverging expectations and the dilemmas that society presents to each one of us it is possible, according to Gal Weinstein, to avoid cultural catastrophe. It is necessary to be actively involved and to assert one’s own individuality, without forgetting that the social network to which we belong is a constraint, a necessity and an opportunity.
Gabi Scardi, Gal Weinstein: Beside, Each, Other, 2010, Riccardo Crespi Gallery, Milan
b. 1970, Ramat Gan, Israel
Lives and works in Tel Aviv. He is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Israel and abroad –USA, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain– notably representing Israel at the 25th International Biennial of Sao Paulo. His works are on permanent display at the Israel Museum’s Contemporary Art Wing, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. In 2011 his work was displayed at the 54th Venice Biennial, Palazzo Zenobio, Venice. His solo show Demonstrating Presence opened in September 2011 at the Kunsthaus Baselland in Basel, Switzerland. He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Israel Cultural Excellence Award and The Beatrice S. Kolliner Young Israeli Artist Award.