HD Video Performance,
Day I 8’08" | Day II 8’32” | Day III, 8’08
(Filmed in Kasukabe Underground Flood Protection Tank, Saitama, Japan)
In the video-performance “Leviathan,” the place is a subterranean water reservoir in Japan, which serves to collect floodwater. The tragic figure of the Prophet Jonah serves Segal as a source of inspiration. the artist’s figure is revealed crying out loud as he runs through a labyrinth of endless rooms, past vast pillars and puddles of murky water. Running about in the depths appears to be swallowed into the unconscious, repeating itself in an endless loop. A powerful echo answers his cries, confirming the artist’s solitude and his isolation from human society.
The architectural labyrinth serves as a “tomb/womb,” a primeval space that allows for escape yet does not provide a respite. The whale is an ancient cultural symbol surrounded by numerous myths, stories and beliefs. The video work Leviathan unfolds over three days, which parallel the stages of flight, survival and prophecy. The three days obviously call to mind the death of Jesus and the three days spent in the tomb prior to his resurrection, as well as the last chapters of Herman Melville’s masterpiece Moby Dick, published in 1851, whose subtitle is The Whale: “The Chase – First Day,” “The Chase – Second Day,” and “The Chase – Third Day.” The figure of Captain Ahab, the novel’s protagonist, who is chasing the whale, parallels that of the artist running to and from in the whale’s entrails. Like Jesus and Jonah, these figures represent an existential state of human restlessness.
2020 LEVIATHAN, Solo Exhibition, Schechter Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel. Curator: Shira Friedman
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