1966, Israel ; lives and works in London
Having spent her childhood in Jerusalem, Oreet Ashery became an activist, an involvement that can be read in her artistic activities, be it her films, photographs, performances, workshops, writings, or musical compositions. Here, the installation Revisiting Genesis (2016—work in progress) frees itself from the place and time of the exhibition and also assumes the form of a web series of twelve episodes, with free Internet access. In a spotless white setting, the docu-fiction episodes are organized around two nurses called Jackie, helping people getting ready to die by creating their digital legacy using biographical slide shows. The friends of Genesis, a woman artist who is on the point of dying, and already barely visible on the screen, organize how to accompany her. Her slideshow, incorporating O. Ashery’s own biographical details, is an occasion to examine the loss of the welfare state and its social and educational structures in our neo-liberal context. Genesis’s death seems, in the end, to be the death of the structures she depended on. Her death, be it symbolic or physical, offers the characters a chance to wonder: What system of attention and care are we living in? What will our online lives become after our death?
O. Ashery mixes the fiction created around Genesis with documentary sequences in which she interviews artists and people suffering from real diseases. They wittily and weirdly evoke deeply personal anxieties, out-of-synch with the consumerist and media-focused logic of the new mourning industries, which, not so long ago, still had to do with the family circle. Through the episodes, certain figures of deceased women artists, like the English sculptress Dora Gordine and the singer Amy Winehouse, come and visit Genesis. Their reincarnation, however, raises the issue not so much of their death but of their disappearance during their lifetime, restricted in their artistic careers by the influence of men, husbands and producers.
Une œuvre commandée et produite par la Stanley Picker gallery / A Stanley Picker Gallery commission
Avec le soutien de / with the support of Fluxus Art Projects
Revisiting Genesis, 2016 – en cours
Video installation (95’)
Courtesy of the artist.
With the support of Fluxus Art Projects.
Commission Stanley Picker Gallery, London.