Asylum artist Yael Meiry’s first solo exhibition, Rightgendered, curated by Galia Gur Zeev, was featured at Gallery 4 in Jaffa-Tel Aviv throughout August and September 2017.
In early 2017 I published my fifth photography booklet titled Rightgendered. This booklet features around twenty photos that deal with body and gender dysphoria in relation to urban plants and individuals with different body types and bodily experiences. Tanya Rubinstein, a dear friend who also identifies as genderqueer and who has helped me throughout the thinking process, wrote texts following our talks from which the quote above was taken.
This new term and idea of being “rightgendered” functions as a cornerstone in the creative process, which describes the simple and honest feeling of wanting to feel comfortable in your own skin.
My working method as an artist is to explore my emotional and physical experiences. I enter a process with curiosity and uncertainty of what the outcome will be, while constantly looking for different symbols around me, feeling the embodiment of one thing in another.
When I installed these photographs in a physical space, it was clear that I needed the viewer to experience their own body within the space as well. This guided my thinking about the installation itself. I wanted to create an environment where the viewer would have to fully enter to experience the full scope of the installation. When standing within the installation, different works would be viewed as part of an inseparable whole. This viewer experience relates to the feeling of being disconnected from a body while also having a strong sense of self.
In framing the prints, I created a photographic object, a bond between the image and the space it is exhibited in. We installed these pieces using different methods so that the space and the images were touching each other in different ways. Some were pasted straight onto the wall while a few were nailed only in the upper corners, letting the air run through the object and the room. This playful attitude allowed me to neutralize and soften the difficult and uncomfortable topics that the images possessed.
Yael will be doing an artist talk as part of their residency program at Fest’Factory Bat Yam on December 4, where they will be talking about their ongoing work with booklets and zines as independent spaces. They are also planning a new solo exhibition alongside the launch of their artist book, scheduled to come out in 2018.