After the Desert Goat
Photography and Video
After the Desert Goat is the outcome of an eight-month period of self-directed residency in a small desert town, surrounded by wild landscapes and old military bases, where desert goats outnumber the human population. I composed the landscapes I collected there into a looped scroll, where different elements are merged into one another. The result is a looped video, to be projected onto a high wall. The ground of a swing set is a top of a cloud, the bottom of the cloud is the edge of a vertically placed valley, and so on. In this unreal universe, created out of real mise-en-scènes, I am leading the viewer endlessly between hope and despair, creation and destruction, genesis and death. Through the vast presence of animals, surrounded by neglected architectures and militaristic monuments, by standing on the actual edge of this land, I am trying to imagine its end. The last human is standing on the mountain top of a wild country. This is also a beginning.
Up a Slope: Perspectives, Movement and Dwelling in Hinda Weiss’s Works
By Rotem Rozental
A visit to Mitzpe Ramon. Hinda Weiss strolls with her camera and finds herself deep in a fog that envelops an unknown environment, an utter contrast to the urban landscape in which she dwells. In fact, she cannot see anything at all. And then, out of the fog, from beyond the blind, dead spots, appears a Nubian ibex – and Weiss decides to follow it. This first encounter defined the impetus for a journey of physical and conceptual movement, one in which both body and place were stripped out of their functionality, even of identity, and became subject to a new organizing principle. Weiss returned to Mitzpe Ramon in order to explore and document the fog in movement, following a routine she set for herself: morning shoots devoted to predefined subjects, video editing during the day, and evening sessions photographing various subjects. In front of the camera she always wears the same set of cloths: black pants, black shirt, black hoodie. She does not assimilate into the landscape. Rather, the artist camouflages her body with this almost androgynous gesture, as though aiming not merely to blind the landscape as it disappears in the morning fog, but also to hinder the viewer's’ ability to decipher her own image, to isolate her with their gaze. And so she followed the ibex and their daily route, which traces the sun’s path; starting every day on the east and ending on the west. Before the viewer's’ eyes, out of the great fog, the artist’s image is multiplied, slowly swaying on a swing-installation in the local sculpture park. The fluctuation of the swings seems to set the rhythm of the camera’s movement and with it, determine the viewer’s perspective. After a few moments, the camera starts moving downward, vertically: the horizontal roaming with and after the ibex is replaced by constant movement along a longitudinal axes that connect the viewer to the forces of nature, to the ibex wandering between Israel Hadany’s sculpture on the boardwalk (on the south-west) and David Fein’s sculptural piece in the sculpture park (on the south-east). Using digital manipulations, Weiss deconstructs and reconstructs her perspective on the landscape revealed through the fog, offering the viewers a new space through which to look: an imaginary space that seeks to disengage with all that is familiar, while acknowledging the impossibility of removing all trace of its recognizable features. Upon her return to the studio, Weiss produced a complex collage that retraces the journeys feeling of happenstance while redefining its sense of duration. In the exhibition space the viewers are inundated by a repetitive, metallic sound, not knowing where it comes from. It takes a while to discover it originates in the possibly endless up-and-down, up-and-down movement of the swings. Delving into such moments, Weiss creates a contemplative space whose outcomes are not predetermined, replicating the airiness of that other world – the desert.