Israel Patrons Circle

Zohar Gotesman‘Dog Dish’, 2017

Outset Israel supported artist Zohar Gotesman’s sculpture “Dog Dish”, presented at Neta Garden, Herta and Paul Amir Building – the sculpture garden of Tel Aviv Museum of Art, curated by Noa Rosenberg.

In the Neta Garden – the sculpture garden connecting Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s main and new buildings, Gotesman placed the sculpture-installation Dog Dish– a wine fountain rising above two meters in height, four meters in diameter, and weighing four tons. Fifty dogs are carved in the fountain, standing one above the other in a pyramidal shape. The sculpture is surrounded with hand chiseled benches, and myrtle bushes. At the top of the pyramid, stretched up on both legs stands a finely polished Chihuahua dog, from whose mouth pours a flow of red wine that runs down the pyramid to the bottom tier where the “fighting dogs” are tearing into each other. The pyramid seems to be aware of its status as a cliché of a social cliché, with everyone fettered to one of its levels, allowing only those on top to free themselves, to breathe a bit of fresh, myrtle scented air, and spit on all the rest. But what often goes unregistered in the minds of the “top dogs” is the fact that they too are merely ornaments, elevated toys lacking any real control over the system; like the dandyish Chihuahua dogs carried by “It girls” in their expensive designer handbags.

Gravity and order are the markers of capitalism: the generators of the social liquid are on top, while the “plebeians” are plodding in it down below. The mechanism of this hidden hierarchy is activated the moment the sculpture is placed within Tel Aviv Museum of Art, where it crudely undermines the “want-of-matter” doctrine scorched in its institutional DNA. Yet the museum is not singled out for this undermining: Gotesman choses to sculpt in the content-laden matter of the modern world, whose institutional economic system is powered by light, intangible data, whereas Gotesman’s material takes up real space in the world. His strobing of the heavy, “low-tech,” hard to move marble with the mobile, fast and easily available data economy marks him as a subversive artist who insists on working in marble in an environment that does not enjoy the luxury of large budgets.

Gotesman rests his head on the shoulders of the great Renaissance and Baroque masters, yet his feet are firmly grounded in modern sculpture. One eye winks at Jeff Koons, while the other soberly assesses the permutations of the early settlers’ socialist dreams – a social criticism not spared even one moment of the querying son’s ironic gaze.

The exhibition is accompanied with a booklet and postcards. The exhibition and booklet were supported by the memorial fund in honor of painter Neta Dushnitsky-Kaplan, Outset and Mifal HaPais Council for Culture and Arts.

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