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Maya Attoun & Edgar Orlaineta

'Water Institute' Art Gallery, New York, 2010

Curator: Orly Hoffman

Photography: Elad Sarig


Journey Between Dimensions

by Orly Hoffman


The exhibition begins with a journey, a transatlantic journey, a journey into culture and within art. A voyage between Mexico and Israel reaching new desired landscapes, making way to adventure and discovery. Israeli artist Maya Attoun  invited artist Edgar Orlaineta  from Mexico to collaborate and show work together at the 'Water Institute' Gallery.

A first encounter of the exhibition series Over Seas, in which artists host artists with the intention of establishing a dialogue based on choice and interest, along with artistic and emotional proximity and comfort.

The goal of this project was to create conditions enabling individual expression of each artist, expression which is unconditional and not targeting a specific goal; a space for artists to meet, bringing about processes of reflection and selection, committed to the artists individual choices and their mutual discourse.

Attoun and Orlaineta's art transcends the immediate local contexts and raises vast points of view which group into a common cultural and social interest.

Their work opens a wide spectrum of understandings and statements, vibrating into the discourse raised by Boris Groys' thought, a curator and art theorist. In this book, Art Power, Groys dissects the mechanism which drives contemporary art amid global politics and Post Communist reality. He raises a model of a mechanism influenced by the social, ideological and political environments and the economic strategies and functions following technological novelties and digital inventions.

Groys investigative and insightful point of view diagnoses the subterranean moves brewing underneath the art field, influencing and setting modes of public relations and publishing of art products.

He spreads a web of relationships and characterizes ties between wealth, political rule and market forces aside with philosophical and ideological aspects of taste, as a driving force in the manufacturing of culture and contemporary art.

A deep look into Attoun and Orlaineta's art work exposes deep and complex layers with a universal aspect, aside with personal criticism, reacting to their environment and reflecting contemporary trends.

Their art draws a line, characterizing and forming a mode of action, in pieces inspired from, and corresponding with art history.

Different time zones alternate, breaching time honored traditions and linear chronologies, set in a 'science fiction' sphere, sinking in Gothic Romanticism and creating a collage of world view. They pace one towards the other from opposite edges, meeting on the equator.

Attoun uses computerized media but believes in laborious handicraft. Her work spreads lines high and wide, count and measure space between sea and land,  between the deep abyss and a firm ground, not always within reach. The use of the line and the balance system between the image and it's background and between the object and it's surrounding are shared by Attoun and Orlaineta, albeit expressed in various media.

The seductive and sweet 'Posters' created by Orlaineta bring numbered production and design sketches and model parts to be assembled or disassembled. His masterful use of digital options hybrids and brings together images, subtracts and adds volume and creates layers of content environments between two and three dimensions.

Objects seen in his work float in a colorful unidentifiable space, seemingly staged and directed for a studio shoot, mocking and challenging it's fake synthetic feel. A quite sharp, bright and extroverted opposite to the reflective, introvert monochromatic work shown by Maya Attoun.

Various mechanical parts and vehicles, including a boat, ship, car, wheels and tires appear in both artists' work and embody representations of passage, voyages, wandering, immigration… immigration and transfer of a body of knowledge and historical weight. Butterfly wings and floating objects convey a survey and scan of a look from above. They oversee and inspect the movement, supplementing the various options of mobility and covering the aerial space. The development of more sophisticated hybrid aircrafts and amphibious passage utilizes top technological inventions , shortening distances and connections different parts of the world, turning into one small global village.

Attoun's black and white shipwrecks with drowned fronts seem like a weight, compared to Orlaineta's unanchored images. One is the other's lifesaving rope, a fellow traveler investigating the balance of power in processes of negating and approving. The course formulating between them closes a circle between heaven and earth, meets at zero point and starts over. 

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