Situation: Parasite at The Mishkan Museum
Solo exhibitions by Gili Avissar, Tzion Abraham Hazan, and Tchelet Ram
10 August through 21 October
This summer, the Mishkan Art Museum, Ein Harod, brings current projects by three artists represented by Parasite, a local Israeli platform for curating and artist management. Disposing of no permanent showroom or gallery space, Parasite is noted for constantly switching the venues it operates in, organizing shows in ever-changing locations that are put to its disposal. A conscious decision on the part of Parasite, this modus operandi allows it to orchestrate a range of scenarios that percolate at the edge of the institutionalized art world. It is with great pleasure, however, that Parasite accepted the museum’s invitation to organize, on short notice, a show for the summer of 2019. “Situation: Parasite at the Mishkan Art Museum,” takes up the museum’s foyer floor, while the rest of the museum’s exhibition halls are being prepared for a major exhibition set to open in the fall, inaugurating the museum’s program for the upcoming year.
“Situation: Parasite at Mishkan Art Museum” is the first show in Parasite’s nine-year history to be held in a museum space. Whether from the side of the non-institutional platform, or from the institutional framework that accommodates it, the show is reciprocal in its bilateral recognition of the parasitical mode of operation. Inserting itself in a time interval between one show and the next, it allows for this peculiar mode to percolate and seep into the museum’s premises, leaving there artistic manifestations that hinge on bemused and dreamy experimentation, within short-term limits and circumstances.
The three artists presenting work in the show are all well-versed – albeit in different ways – in procedures of assembling and disassembling, in protracted work processes that stress the ever-evolving and the modular. Organized in irregular circumstances, the general platform given to them encompasses two antithetical layers: a museum space – in this case a venue recognized as one of the pinnacles of modernist architecture in Israel – which envelopes the additional layer of a parasitical action coming to invade it from without. Such circumstances, however, provide them a chance to ponder the institutional, to challenge it in ways that are informed by the informality of a targeted flash action. It is a framework that, in containing this antithesis, also allows for broader considerations to come to light as regards the artwork and the space accommodating it. Not merely formal, such considerations have, of late, become inevitably political, given the recent shake ups in the Israeli cultural arena.