Artist Statment – Efrat Kedem
“I shall cancel the room,
and the table I shall leave dislocated,
detached, and practicing for the first time gestures of human despair”
Hezy Leskly, room poems collection, Tel Aviv, 1985
My art work deals mainly with spaces and objects as raw materials. I investigate the traces left by the time flow of everyday life in private and public spaces and with conversions and counter-conversions of objects and materials from one space to another. I use remnants of rooms, memories and visual moments from the urban environment and relocate them in a different space, the exhibition space, which becomes my work partner. Some of my works start from a given space and reflect upon space itself and upon the concept of site-specificity.
I work with found objects. This is an artistic choice that is based on the notion that the world is full of objects and stuff. This makes me want to produce re‑usable art that recycles the existing object by offering ways to re-use it. This is not only environmental but also conceptual recycling. In light of the cultural landscapes of late capitalism, when the world is filling up with stuff it has become urgent to think of the found object as a raw material. Building on the twentieth-century artistic avant-garde tradition of object trouvé, but going beyond it, I find it interesting to think of the found object as a starting point, not an end result. For example, my white IKEA table, which I found outside my studio, was first used by me as a desk in my studio; later on, I used the same table in three different exhibitions, each time as part of a different piece. After the last installation it took part in, I left it at the same street corner where I found it.
In my work I try to create a tension between interior and exterior. For my MFA graduation project at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, titled “Can you see this raft? I think I need it,” I used my studio space as material. For a year I worked in the studio, which gradually evolved to become a piece that dealt with the space of that room – the studio. The actual piece included materials and objects both outside and inside my studio and a network of surveillance cameras that broadcasted live footage of the outside into the exhibition space.