Stairway / Ori Dessau

Gil Marco Shani - Stairway

Ori Dessau


Gil Marco Shani's current installation joins a series of total environments that he has built in the last decade. The installation is based directly on the architecture of the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art. Nevertheless, in Shani's action there is more than an attempt to expose or reflect the structural aspect of the architecture. This is not a site-dependent installation, but a stage set, a fictitious space, a total and dead materials environment. Shani has hidden away the museum's staircase, which ordinarily connects the building's lobby to its large display space, and has turned the passageway into a passageway of another order: over the existing stairs he has built an inclined ramp; at some distance from the existing walls he has built new walls, which together with the low ceiling constrict the space surrounding the viewer and press down upon him/her. He has dimmed the lighting and lowered the temperature. The space has turned into a sort of tunnel or sleeve, drawing the viewers into it and leading them through the liminal space to a transparent, locked glass door which blocks their continued movement. Through the door appears the entranceway to a residential building – a staircase to the first floor, another to the basement, a mirror, an elevator – in a lighting setup that simulates morning twilight.