In her solo show To See Subcutaneously, Noa Ginzburg invites the viewers to commune with fleeting moments of emotional, visual, and aesthetic entanglements. In this essay, Noa lingers on instances when her artworks engages with the world outside the gallery.
In the year of the pandemic, I found myself working with no permanent studio or living space, stuck between continents. So I started working on a series of installations in absence: computer-generated images that employ autostereogram technology, a new take on a childhood fixation (autostereogram is a 2D image designed to create the visual illusion of 3D objects). To conjure the space within an autostereogram, one must look beyond the surface and override our brain construction of an image of depth. To look deeply with both eyes sets up a frozen, “out of the body” experience, an uncomfortable sensation of loss of control. The bright and colorful autostereograms are made from an amalgamation of my objects, text, and biomorphic drawings through open-access generators and digital editing. The three-dimensional image can only exist when you look straight at it.
This new body of work is now presented in my solo exhibition To See Subcutaneously at the Tel Aviv Artists’ Studios. Structured as a site-responsive installation through its main gallery and garden, I’ve created a new sound piece that suggests a tempo and ambiance when walking through the gallery space, a vocal tale of possible choreography or meditation and “how to see” instructions. The sound study, accessed via a QR code on the wall is composed of texts in Hebrew and English edited in stereo, which you hear simultaneously. By removing an earphone the visitor can choose to listen to only one of the channels, one language at a time.
I set up a studio in the gallery space, as a way to extend the studio residency I had in the same building before the show. After a year of seclusion and quarantine, I was craving to relearn in-person interaction, especially as things started to open up in Tel Aviv. I found that while physically present in the gallery, I embodied different roles: an artist in residence, a mediator, an instructor, a gallery sitter, a friend.
I assigned the edges of the gallery to be workspaces, sites of activation by me, the artist. Outdoors, I created a sitting area and a small pollinator garden and installed the work Circular Object. The patio pays homage to my pandemic-summer-studio-on-the-roof in Brooklyn, the only spot that truly felt safe as we sheltered in place. This area buzzes with the movement of bees of all kinds feeding on the plants’ nectar, cats meowing, and the usual construction sounds that are everywhere in Tel Aviv. That is where I embroidered Radical Coziness hats or read.
I furnished my indoor work area with a table and shelves with books and zines, and a few rows of colored pencils drawings on the wall. I usually sit and work near my table, which is right at the end of the gallery space. Across from me, at its far end, there is a window with black horizontal security bars facing the garden and Circular Object.
Circular Object is a 120 cm circumference work, floating on the garden wall. Its surface is covered with a thick wallpaper, printed with a colorful autostereogram. It looks like digital pillars and horizontal waves of colors and symbols. I look straight ahead, Circular Object fills up the majority of the left half of the window. The waves printed on it align perfectly with the bars on the window. Its distance from the wall adds a dark shadow on its lower left side. The space that opens within has a diagonal construction, and its colors echo the wall of drawings inside.
Behind my indoor work table, there’s a west-facing window that opens to a large palm tree. Being close to the coast of Tel Aviv, the sea breeze swings its branches; I've coated the window with the work Glitch, a pink and black autostereogram on see-through foil that allows the light to pass through.
Every afternoon, between four and six pm, the sun moves towards the water, and the tree in the garden sheds its shadow on the Circular Object, with dark, thin lines dancing. The sun sifts through Glitch; together with the wind and leaves they exchange inputs and output a mesmerizing flickering presentation of real-life projection on the wall to my left. Saturated pink spheres of light and dark leaves make me daydream of cyanotypes and holograms.
Video documentation by Shir Lusky.
Audio - Text: Noa Ginzburg. Reading in Hebrew: Noa Shaham.
Reading in English: Adar Beck. Sound editing: Chanan Ben Simon.