The Missing Link
Center for Contemporary Arts Celje
Likovni salon gallery, 20.1. - 27.2.2011
Until now the artistic practice of the Israeli artist Tal Adler has been strongly marked by projects for which it could undoubtedly be said that they belong within the frame of activist art. The orientation that is not limited to exhibiting in a gallery space, for it - through various strategies - operates in the public and political space, is typical for his projects such as Conflict 1 to 1,000 (the project saw the light of day in the midst of the Israeli-Palestine conflict in 2001), Unrecognized (this project, the beginnings of which reach into 2003, cooperated with various social justice movements in order to make the position of the Bedouin community in Israel visible and improved) or OneState (a 2009 project in which he and the Palestine artist Osama Zatar established the OneState embassy in Vienna. The artists work as ambassadors of the symbolic OneState country, which advocates the idea of open borders and the coexistence of different cultures). Tal Adler cooperated in numerous exhibitions, amongst which we can find the following: Overlapping Voices, Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg, (2008), Three cities against the wall (exhibition opposing the wall that divides the Israelis and Palestines), New York, Ramallah, Tel Aviv (2005), The promise, the land, OK centrum, Linz (2003), New Agora, Cittadellarte fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2002).
In his work he presents the values of equality and freedom, harmonious and tranquil coexistence and opposes politics that are intolerant to other nations and ethnic groups and establish control through monitoring, exclusion and aggression. In his latest work The Missing Link he shows his critical view of the way people treat animals, for this is one of the indicators which shows that the relations of power, subordination and exclusion that often control human relations are also applicable to the human attitude towards the natural world.
The exhibition The Missing Link was conceived and realised especially for Likovni salon Celje and it represents the first part of the artist's broadly conceived project that will research the complex and often pathological relations humans have towards the natural world, especially animals. The exhibition uses a series of photographs and sculptures through which it focuses on the ownership of animals and their objectification. Adler approaches his research and interpretations in a complex manner that is inspired by ancient stories, anthropomorphism, zoomorphism, philosophy and toys. He discusses the duality of our relation towards animals shown through love and care on one side and disciplining, taking them out of their natural habitat, minimizing their living space, hunting and killing on the other side.
The exhibition The Missing Link - which in reality discusses the relations of power - leads the viewer to critically rethink the model of human behaviour that is the same in his attitude towards animals as well as to his fellow human being.
Tal Adler lives and works in Tel Aviv and Vienna.