Hilla Toony Navok at KM

Artist: Hilla Toony Navok

Exhibition title: Outlet

Venue: KM, Berlin, Germany

Date: November 11, 2017 – January 20, 2018

Photography: Sebastian Mayer / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and KM Berlin

Note: List of works can be found here

In her first solo show at KM, Hilla Toony Navok creates a playful installation made of sculptures, drawings and found objects that is characterized by the polarity of two colors. Red and blue signal a clear opposition, which is understood immediately. The standardized RAL colors allow an object to be mass produced anyplace in the world. The exhibited works gain their rhythm by the colors, establishing connections and lines between the objects within the space.

The installation on the right-hand wall is made by varying blue colors and creates a vertical movement in the gallery space. The shelf unit is filled with neatly stacked blue sweatshirts like in a clothing store, they seem ready to be purchased. Navok alters the linear structure of the shelves by adding other found materials, such as pipes and grilles, lending the entire installation an abstract drawing-like quality. A courageous sweatshirt tries to break out of the line by hanging down, thus opening up a space of momentary freedom in the conformity and uniformity of display. The red shelf unit on the front wall also has textile elements that wind around the structure and thus disrupt its accuracy. The industrially manufactured objects are gesturally expanded in this way. New, modern, and strangely familiar bodies emerge from a number of displays, albeit without bodies.

With the installation Outlet, Navok continues her playful yet melancholic investigation after the affects of generic everyday mass-product design on our concept of the body. She uses codes drawn from design and modernist drafts to question our relation to consumption, to order and to our own bodies. Here, she focuses on the “outlet” as a state of mind and time – a place where a commodity is fallen out of grace, the middle point between a shop window and a background storage. Navok’s spatial interventions initially appear quite aesthetic, the world of commodities is displayed as attractive and promising. In one of the gallery walls, one can see ventilation blinds as they are installed in almost all buildings in Tel Aviv. The remains of sleeves protrude from them, and several vent slots are open. Something eerie is taking place, and the viewer gets an uneasy feeling, starting to question the situation, he finds himself in. The artist combines an analytical approach with a very intuitive and performative gesture. The abstract drawings and collages refer to a culture of transformed rooms and open them up to time and space. A central reference within Navok’s works is the engagement with design, the expression of cultural identity, representation, taste, and modernism.

Hilla Toony Navok is an artist based in Tel Aviv. She is a graduate in excellence of continuing program of the MFA in Fine Arts program in Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. She received the Givon Prize for Young Artists from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2011,  the Creative Encouragement Award  from Israel’s Ministry of Culture in 2012 among other awards.  She recently completed a year long residency at Artport in Tel Aviv. In recent years Navok exhibited extensively in Israel and abroad main venues including: Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv, Haifa Museum of Art, A. Herzliya Biennial, Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Rockefeller Museum Jerusalem, Noga Gallery Tel Aviv, Sommer gallery Tel Aviv, MeetFactory Prague, Local 30 gallery Warsaw, Neues Museum Weimar,  Ashdod Museum of Art and Redtory Art Center Guangzhou. In addition she co-curated the 2009 Herzliya Biennial of Contemporary Art and was co-editor of the art magazine Picnic Magazine.