LEGEND: Art as a Grid of Truths and Lies

GRID 2020 Abstracts

Art as a Grid of Truths and Lies

Arch. Tamar Lev-On
Faculty of Design, HIT

Session III: The Grid – Artistic Impressions
Monday, November 23, 2020 | 13:30-14:30 (Duet B)

The starting point of my practice is a grid of ocean (art) and land (architecture): pre-planned thought versus liberated imagination. My practice as a visual artist (as well as the curriculum of part of my courses) revolves around truths and lies in the arts. I am studying this theme since my MFA in Kingston University, London, where I composed “The Artist as a Liar”: a paper that discusses whether the artist is morally obliged to her audience, especially when she claims to present a piece “based on a true story.” Since then I am creating fictions, and use them to re-map themes and places, as a grid of space (actual site’s history and stories) and ideas (made up stories and criticism build site specifically). In my opinion, when someone encounters a work of art that is accompanied by a “documentary” promise (i.e. “based on a true story” title in films) he removes filters of disbelief. Presenting an art piece as “reliable” enables the artist to bring his audience closer to the made narrative, promote curiosity and identification, and thus allows him to engage with explosive themes and criticize them. The book LEGEND, like other projects, can be considered as a depth-grid, or a 3-dimensional web of facts and fabrications. In recent years this web became a political reality: a multi-layered grid of news / lies / lies presented as truths / works of art. Whether it is presented as an art piece or in the media, that further promotes credibility.

The proposed lecture suggests a perspective view of my portfolio, while examining various grid principles. The lecture will begin with a short overview of thinkers who dealt with the relationship between the art discipline and the realm of the real: From Plato’s Mimesis, through Simulacra, to Deleuze who talks about the power of the false in creating reality.

I will present a short overview of a few of my projects and exhibitions, all follows the aesthetics of portraying reality, using text and image. In each project the complex structure of a work of art disguised as real, meets other fields, and deciphering the piece takes the viewer to parallel fields. For example: Scrutinium: This award-winning final MFA show presented a fake archive, documenting a murder that allegedly took place at the gallery space, trying to solve it. This project brings together local histories, folklore and storytelling, and material forgery. Alyson: eight made-up women, confronting historic documentation with women history as clashing grid: Since there is no sufficient historic feminine representation, I am forced to make it up. The embroiderer and the Sorceress: an embroidered wall carpet, weaving the embroidery threads material mesh with a family network. The characters are transformed into mythical characters, creating a new mythology grid.