FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS, installation at, Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois, USA

 

 

FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS, 2015, HDV, 10:19min

We live in a time and place where even microscopic examination will not reveal the difference between a real seed and its imitation. The video work is shot in the vacation resort Tropical Islands, which closely imitates a natural Thai island and confines it underneath the giant dome of the former Brand-Briesen Airfield in Krausnick, Germany. A second filming location is an anonymous botanical garden in Jerusalem, Israel.

Through imagining procedures in the daily routines of a cleaning lady and a botanist, Monosov theatrically depicts their environment and their acts, both of which alter between the real and the surreal. This constructed universe characterizes the powerlessness of a nature controlled and used by humans. In the abstract sense of some pastoral place, the two women are following a mechanism whose rules aren’t clear.

 

In a white void, on a cloud away from any social structure, we hear Pastoral, Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. Is it within the sleep, or perhaps the death of the character and the artist that this idealism might serve as a perfect getaway?

While nature may seem to exist in its own right, unquestionable and omnipresent, the planting of a tree can come from political interest; a calculated action by men with an agenda. We live in a world where we cultivate the most useful plants while turning entire rainforests into lumber; in a place where forests are planted to possess land. There is an urgent need to examine the seed, the core, the soil we walk on, and the water we drink.

UNTITLED (FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS), 2015 

archival pigment print, 12 x 19 in

Still image fro the film FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS

Still image fro the film FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS

POLITICAL WATER, 2015 

Sodastream, 14 x 8 x 12 in    

                

In Political Water, the visitor is encouraged to consume water made sparkling by a SodaAtream, an Israeli product currently being boycotted internationally. By using this product or purchasing this machine-cum-work, we collaborate with a system, an ideology, even if it first appears as an innocent house good purchase.

            

The boycott of products made at the expense of people’s lands and homes extends globally to many products. Here, Monosov specifically focuses on SodaStream because the original factory was located on an illegal Israeli settlement inside the Palestinian West Bank. While SodaStream’s closure of its factory in the militarily occupied West Bank was a success, the company has relocated to the town of Rahat, a planned township in the Negev desert, this too is a space where Palestinian Bedouins are being forcefully transferred to make room for the employees and activity of the company.

UNTITLED (FREEDOM IN THE CLOUDS), 2015

flag, archival pigment print, 27 x 40 x 5 in

 © 2019  Rachel Monosov 

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