Ruins (one object of a larger instalation). 2017
Destroyed Present: On Ravit Lazer’s exhibition Ruins
Biographical details, historical events or memories and imaginings have become in the course of the 20th century highly significant, legitimate and even central to the interpretation of artists’ personal language. Consequently, in its broadest sense, the term “raw materials” seeks to lace, together with the “materials” in the simplest sense of the word, a fabric of sociohistorical meanings woven with personal and intimate meanings as integral to the process of interpreting the artwork.
This fabric of meanings is the main key for understanding Ravit Lazer’s entire oeuvre. Lazer is an artist and designer who combines the diverse disciplines of ceramics, photography, texts and personal interpretation.
Her journey begins with the attempt to materially capture real-life moments in a manner reminiscent of photography, and present them in three dimensions.
Lazer uses ceramics to build spaces embodying a totality of destruction that communicates a harsh, empty and abandoned reality, simultaneously occupied by concepts such as refuge, violence, ghosts and uncertainty. Skillfully, Lazer builds and destroys monochromatic reality, with exquisite mastery of ceramic construction methods both traditional and contemporary. In doing so, she probes the boundary between control and loss of control as articulated in ceramic architectural constructions where uncontrolled destruction occurs as they combust. This makes for a paper-thin and powerful reality that collapses into a breathtaking and at the same time horrifying beauty.
The works in Ruins refer to situations of destruction and ruin in deconstructed urban spaces that often seem like archeological findings in a crumbling present. Buildings, streets and neighborhoods scarred with violence and might, emptied out of the life that used to inhabit them not long ago. The boundaries between private and public, political and apolitical seem to have never been charted. Therefore, the context of destruction she constructs deludes and engages the viewer.
The process of working with the material and combining it with paper fibers enables Lazer to test the boundaries of its weakness and strength. The raw material is used to create a strong and thin construction that calls for the additional, unpredictable and independent destruction that as the objects are fired in the ceramic kiln. Paradoxically, long and tender paper fibers have toughened the material just like concrete reinforced with iron rods. This fact adds another metaphoric dimension, whereby the structural strength of Lazer’s works derives from a fundamentally soft, tender and fragile infrastructure, in the positive senses of these words.
Next, after having mastered the construction process, Lazer began examining how violent and unpredictable events may be “fabricated”. These “violent events” were created by firing the constructions in excessively high temperatures, which cause the material and structure to melt and collapse. As a result, some of her pieces have fallen completely apart, while others have “frozen” in mid-process (thanks to the object’s foundational structure). The relations between the material’s composition, the structure of the object and its combustion temperature make for a dialectic of control and uncontrollability, construction and deconstruction.
The work explore the gap between the perception of home as a shelter, as an enclosed, safe and protective place and its shattered walls and rooms, broken and fossilized and thereby attesting to the ephemerality of existence, to the meaninglessness of that which is seen as permanent. Lazer offers a material interpretation for a human condition and life in a given geographical space in a regional (and global) reality, and siphons all of these into the individual/private space preoccupied by home as a sociocultural concept.
same text as above
same text as above
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.
Ceramic Artist Lecturer of ceramic design and design at Shenkar College in Israel Director of the Ceramic Art School and Diploma Program of the Benyamini Contemporary Ceramic center in Tel Aviv, Israel