Naama Tsabar (*1982, Yavne, Israel; lives and works in New York) creates sensually driven installations, performances, and sculptures that evoke questions of power and bravado found in musical and social environments. Her work investigates intimacy, performativity, sexuality, and excess with minimalist aesthetics. Throughout her practice, Tsabar repeatedly returns to the iconic act of breaking the guitar. In her newest series of large-scale installations, titled “Melodies of Certain Damage,” broken guitars are scattered about the gallery. Strings are reattached to the musical "debris" in an unconventional way, creating a constellation of resynthesized instruments – a phoenix rising from the wreckage.
On the occasion of her solo exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tsabar presents her newest large-scale installation, which transforms the entire gallery space into a site-specific sculptural and sonic installation. The installation is comprised of shattered guitars, sprawled on the floor, each restrung to create a collective of sculptures that renders the lower floor into a massive, room-sized instrument. Visitors can play this unique creation, as well as attend special performances by female-identified and gender non-conforming performers (Rotem Frimer, Nina Loeterman, Maya Perry, Sarah Strauss and Moran Victoria Sabbag).
Tsabar’s striking floor-bound installation imposes a unique configuration between instrument and body. To play the instruments-cum-installation, visitors must lay on the floor next to the pieces, or find other positions with which to interact with the work. Such a choreography engenders a vulnerability within visitors or performers, generating a new kind of intimacy between the instrument and its activator. Transforming the remains of the iconic action of breaking a guitar into a new functioning order in many ways undermines its historic gendered manifestation in Rock ‘n’ Roll. The image of the male rock star, able freely to express anger and rebellion, and to impose violence, has become almost paradigmatic today. By maintaining the composition of the guitars as they originally fractured when broken, Tsabar focuses on the aftermath of the violence, the debris. Transforming the remains, perhaps even the victims of violence, into a new and beautiful landscape is an empowering female act. For this reason, Tsabar chose to collaborate and empower musicians who identify as female and gender non-binary. She will work with them to compose a space-specific performance.
“Naama Tsabar: Melody of Certain Damage (Opus 3)” is curated by Chen Tamir.
“Naama Tsabar: Melody of Certain Damage (Opus 3)” supported by Thomas Rom, Shulamit Nazarian, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, and Mifal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts. Additional support has been provided by Giora Kaplan and Marc Schimmel; special thanks to Noor and Dalton Winery.
Following the exhibition, a monograph, with content in English, was published by Mousse – a collaboration between CCA, Kunsthaus Baselland in Muttenz / Basel and Faena Art Center in Buenos Aires.
“Naama Tsabar: Melodies of Certain Damage (Opus 3),” 2018-19
View of the exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo
Photo: Eyal Agivayev
Naama Tsabar: Melodies of Certain Damage (Opus 3)
February 8, 2019
December 21, 2018