“My Father in the Cloud,” a new solo exhibition by Ruth Patir (*1984 New York; lives and works in Tel Aviv) at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an intimate study of grief and loss, mediated by the augmented imagery of 3D animation and motion-capture technology.
In this project, Patir extends her interest in self-representation and life in the era of the Internet, and problematizes a rather recent phenomenon: losing a loved one in an era in which their digital presence confoundingly carries on. What if the artist took her cue from her late father – an engineer, a telecommunications executive, and a gadget enthusiast – and broached technology’s potential to resuscitate someone no longer alive? Can grief be temporarily arrested by the simulation of his presence, and by the possibility of generating new memories with him?
The centerpiece of “My Father in the Cloud” is an eponymous video essay, a travelog-inspired documentary, that unfolds across the artist’s desktop, as well as in the thickets of the Web and virtual software. Patir, together with animator Yonatan Wasserman, set out on a journey laced with humor and psychological insight to ‘communicate’ with the dead, in order to allow the artist to dance with her father again. “A dad dancing is an essence. Not of the person but of their ‘dadness,’” she says in the film. With a combination of naïveté and an earnestness doomed for disappointment, Patir and Wasserman enlist A.I. technologies and the help of Patir’s family members for this renewed dance with the father through reenactment of his body language, as an act of love.
Alongside the film is a 3D video archive of memorabilia left by Patir’s father, including items such as a payphone card and a flip phone, set against a backdrop of commercials for technological innovations that he stored in his hard drive. They now appear as semi-absurd archeological relics from a future already forgotten. Moving across time, the exhibition offers a requiem on love, control, and the digital footprint we leave in the world.
“Ruth Patir: My Father in the Cloud” is curated by Tamar Margalit. The exhibition is supported by the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation and Thomas Rom. Additional support is provided by Nathalie Mamane-Cohen and Jean-Daniel Cohen, Giora Kaplan, Rivka Saker, Marc Schimmel, Yona Zach, and Sotheby’s Israel.
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“Ruth Patir: My Father in the Cloud,” 2022
View of the exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo
Photo: Eyal Agivayev
My Father in the Cloud, 2022
Courtesy of the artist and Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv
Ruth Patir: My Father in the Cloud
November 12, 2022
September 15, 2022