Abandoned spaces, preserved materials, and the lingering feeling of a life once lived—these are all necessary components in the video and photography work of Dana Levy. Her new monograph World Order, published for her solo exhibition at the CCA in Tel-Aviv, highlights her interest with the appropriation, display and study of everyday curiosities. The two pieces that captured my attention the most were her video works Silent Among Us (2008) and The Wake (2011). Each piece takes place in a museum setting that contains and collects life. The release of live birds and butterflies into the still-life setting births a new dynamic, merging the past with the present. This theme, coupled with the contrast of confinement and freedom, is constant throughout the collection of pieces showcased in World Order.
The monograph also contains essays by Maayan Sheleff, Christopher Eamon, and Berta Sichel that shed light on Levy’s concern with the past and its importance and mystery in the present. For the reader, these essays illustrate poignant moments in her work such as with Dead World Order where “an elegant European woman carefully handles the objects with finesse and love.” The authors also discuss and dissect the setting, composition and mood of the work, comparing some shots to be reminiscent of a Hitchcock film. The discourse through description and interpretation bring life to the static images, as well as add a new layer of interest to each piece. World Order does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Levy’s art, and will definitely pique the interest both of those familiar and new to her work.
Review by Caitlin Díaz