Elementary school


The installation "Elementary school" is the next work in a series of big scale, multi-practical installations made by the artist Gil Marco Shani. These made up surroundings take the viewer to a journey, physically and mentally, through reality and fantasy, interior and exterior.

"Elementary school" is a two storey building realistic model that takes the viewer inside the familiar structures of his school days. However, this school is more dreamlike and nocturnal, then anything else. The structure is mainly dark, using only slight lighting hidden from the windows of the first floor, and occasional lightning bolts that strikes the envoirment to be as in nature. The entrance to the installation is through a narrow guard post, through which you can see the whole building in the middle of a muddy yard filled with puddles and palm trees. Inside the first floor, the viewer is encountered with the gold dome of Jerusalem, a famous site of dispute, surrounded by pink roof tops. The dome completely fills the space of the first floor. This site is inaccessible and remains distant. Outside there is a feeling of coldness and dump. The second floor is reached by a narrow flight of stairs and there through a large window, we can see the back yard where the palm trees tops are moving together in the wind. At the end of this corridor, a classroom. On the table – a maquett of desert landscape, described in a biblical way. Camels are cut out of cardboard.

 "Elementary school" doesn't deal with the political, in the context of the Israeli- Palestinian issue, but rather with the political in its aesthetic context. The aesthetics for the work are taken from the dream world and the realm of the subconscious. The act of taking a holy and symbolic sign, such as the golden rock, and rendering it empty and horrifying, is the act of de-constructing the pathologies that are descended of our childhood atmospheres, by the displacement of these symbols.

Curator, Sarit Shapira
Hertzeleia Museum, 2006