Dana Art Gallery, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai
Curator: Ravit Harari
The show addresses the presence of historical water towers in the local landscape of present-day Israel, and by extension their changing place in its history. Using painting and video, Platek set on a journey in pursuit of the towers, investigating architectural features, physical contact with them and the landscapes in which they are nestled. A main lifeline of the former Yishuv, the towers distributed water in their place of settlement and sometimes used for signaling and surveillance. In the wake of the 1948 war and Israel’s independence they became infused with defensive and political meanings, turning into objects of Zionist pathos and memory.
In this emotional journey in pursuit of the towers Platek focused on the physical aspect of coming into contact with them. The bodily gestures he performs seem childish, playful or quotidian in nature, a contrast to the heroicism of these phallic edifices. Doomed to fail, each of his actions embodies an awkward attempt at breaking into one of these tall, reinforced structures, an unrealized longing for their cradling, embracing womb. Expressive of a range of emotions, these loving gestures to the towers and their surroundings highlight the forsaken state they are in today, in present-day Israel, as opposed to their glorified past.
A rusted water pipe brought into the gallery provides seating places for visitors, as well as an object replete with private and collective memories – among them a childhood memory of Platek himself stepping on top of the pipe that led to the water tower built on a hill in his native kibbutz.
Video list of Waterline, 2018, 7:41 min, in order of appearance (excerpts): (1) Kfar Varburg (2) Zmorot (3) Moledet (4) Alonim (5) Mizpe Hayam (6) Moledet II (7) Yad Mordechai
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