Chickens, Dogs and Artists Tale / Gil & Moti at Pedrami Gallery, Antwerp
The new oil paintings and mixed media works in Chickens, Dogs and Artists Tale by duo artists Gil & Moti reveal a bleak landscape where segregation and isolation are prominent daily. In this hilly world, houses are repetitively being torn down and built up, and the place of human beings is taken by dogs, horses, sheep, and chickens, with a wink to the iconic allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell.
The artists, Israeli born currently Dutch, lived and worked on both sides of the wall that separates Israelis from Palestinians, in the West Bank, during the years 2014 and 2015. While exploring the fundamental entity of ‘home’ – its philosophical, social, and physical aspects, they have gained an intellectual, emotional, and visual insight on how people live in a war zone.
The works shown at Pedrami Gallery paint a world without blocks, borders, or checkpoints, where camels walk and eat freely. A world that can exist only, at least for the time being, in a comforting painting. At the same time the painted, layered story, is a sincere attempt to keep the geographical, architectural and political developments from oblivion.
Gil (1968) & Moti (1971) are known for their unique social artistic engagement in art and for working strategically in multiple disciplines. They switch effortlessly between classical and contemporary artistic mediums of expression from photography, painting, video, performance, and installation art. They work together exclusively since 1998 and have been engaged in an on-going exploration of identity, the notion of individuality, and related social norms and forms. Their approach is based on a few simple rules: always to dress identically, to do everything together, and to own only one wallet, phone and set of keys between them. Via small-scale social interventions, they address important socio-political issues, such as discrimination, social exclusion and racism. As artists, a gay couple, immigrants and Jewish born (ex)Israelis, they have direct experience of such issues within their own personal lives. Their appearance invariably causes surprise and amusement, enabling them to raise the subject of identity and otherness in a way that is always subtle and playful, but no less serious. In recent years, works by Gil & Moti have been exhibited at the Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam), Lentos Kunstmuseum (Linz, Austria), Nikolaj Kunsthal (Copenhagen, Denmark), Stavanger Museum of Fine Arts (Norway), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), Kunsthalle Wien (Austria), and elsewhere.Their work is in private and public collections, among others: Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), Petach Tikva Museum of Art (Israel), MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien(Austria), Kunstmuseum Bochum (Germany), Haifa Museum of Art, (Israel).
In 2015 they received the MK Award, Dutch prize for visual art.