OHAD MEROMI Who Owns the World?
OHAD MEROMI: WHO OWNS THE WORLD?
September 5 – November 22, 2008
Reception: Friday, September 5, 5-9pm
Gallery hours: Thursday – Saturday | 12–4pm | and by appointment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Country Club is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by New York-based artist Ohad Meromi.
For the installation of Who Owns the World?, Meromi will take over the entire gallery space, filling it with sculpture, video and photography. This new body of work addresses the persistent influence of Modernism and the utopian politics that accompany that legacy.
The installation of Who Owns the World?, itself a reference to the subtitle of a 1932 Bertold Brecht film, provides, literally and figuratively, the skeletal structure of the 1930 Brecht play The Exception and the Rule. In Country Club’s space, Meromi will install a large spatial construction consisting of four modular spaces divided in a nonhierarchical format that represent different aspects of living in a collective: a communal bedroom, a culture club, a dressing/sewing room for a theatre/commune and an architect’s studio. The deconstructed rooms and their homemade props draw upon manifold sources of influence, such as Constructivist set design, the early communities of the Israeli Kibbutzim as well as the austere aesthetics of late modern institutional architecture and public space. Each element of Meromi’s rough-hewn installation possesses a consistent aesthetic with an unfinished quality that reinforces the artist’s interest in creation as an ongoing process.
Certain objects and elements in these rooms also make appearances in the two-part video The Exception and the Rule I & II. Composed of two separate but related videos (Schitopolis, set in Israel, and Trois Gaules, set in France), the work depicts two interpretive rehearsals of the early Brecht learning play. Enacted by the artist’s friends and family, the videos’ loose, improvisational formats reassert Meromi’s equation of the theatrical stage and the architectural model as spaces for communal creativity within scripted environments. The tone and attitude of the videos captures Meromi’s continued fascination with an after-school special aesthetics he has developed over the course of numerous recent video projects.
Ohad Meromi has had solo exhibitions at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York and the Tel Aviv and the Israel Museums. His work was recently included in the Biennale de Lyon; the 1st Herzliya Biennial of Contemporary Art; Real Time: Art in Israel, 1998-2008 at the Israel Museum; and the touring exhibition Uncertain States of America currently on view at the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague. Meromi was recently named a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2008 Grants to Artists Award.
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