“The body is an instrument through which I experience life, and record my biography and personal history.”
Nelly Agassi, Bedroom, 2005. Wood construction, mattresses, quilt, 8.6 x 11.3 meters. Courtesy of Dvir gallery and the artist.
I work and live in Tel-Aviv. My media is performance, video, installation and works on paper. The essence of my work is in the fact that it is a product of my own biography and being a woman, naturally my artistic terminology is one that derives from the female lexicon, the dictionary, the archive of female consciousness. Still, it is important for me to create through the reading of the human, universal language.
My works start in my own scale and proportions, and then spread, creating an extension of the self, the body and soul. They are both physical and metaphorical. The physical expression towers over the exhibition space, metaphorically delineating the option, the possibility, the potential, and the infinity where one can arrive, or, rather, the infinity one can take in. That is the reason why the works can be seen as enormous, large-scale installations linked to the space in which they are exhibited. But I tend to relate to them, at times, as miniature works representing action and flow from me as a starting point, outwards, through the exhibition space that has been conceptually breached.
In most of the works, I use my body and presence as the material. The body is accessible for me like a cellular phone or a laptop that I carry with me, portable. The body is an instrument through which I experience life, and record my biography and personal history. It is like a physical tunnel, through which I transform mental and emotional processes, and with it, this recording device, I transmit in the exhibition space. The body is a storage space to gather life experience, fears, passions, excitements, and dreams.
Pain is diluted by joy.
The use of the body, the performance, is held uniquely during the exhibition’s opening. The performance then becomes an installation, a remnant holding the memory and energy of the action within it. It can be seen as an inseparable part of the hanging of the work in the exhibition space and even as a ceremony of parting from it; a kind of threshold, symbolizing and marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.