Men stamping their feet, clapping hands, and singing are only some of the repertoire of gestures in artist Michel Platnic’s new video created for the Ramat Eliyahu Art Workshop Gallery. Whether sitting or standing, marching or standing in place, the three men present songs and stories recalled from childhood and youth. The title of the exhibition hints at the prohibition of men hearing singing by women. In contrast are the songs by male in the private space. When referring to the exclusion of women, the father narrates a story about his feelings of being neglected by the community as a male immigrant from Ethiopia, since it is the women who are mostly being nurtured by the community.
The exhibition is devoted to the multiple generations in the Ethiopian community present in the space through their voices and singing. They “illuminate” various corners of the darkened space like fireflies as the spotlights shine on them, creating intimate spaces. The size and shape of the thin metal rods slinking down from the ceiling and which seem to grow out of the floor are reminiscent of oars.
In some sections of the video, two out of the three men are “frozen” for a few seconds while the third continues to sing and move, and vice versa. As in a re-enactment of an historical event, here, too, the men re-enact a past situation imprinted in their memories. The re-enactment by the moving figure is a double repetition: the men repeat the moment from their childhood, which is then re-recorded.
[extract from the curatorial text from Orit Hasson Walder]
Participants in the video: Belay Abeba, Jamara Abeba, Agar Asepa.
Curator: Orit Hasson Walder, Ramat Eliyahu Art Workshop Gallery.
Opening ceremony September 1st, 2018, Photographer: Yaara Oren