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Uri Katzenstein: HOPE MACHINE

The first frame in Uri Katzenstein’s video Hope Machine is a close up of a young woman looking through a pair of binoculars. She surveys a somewhat uncanny, oily and wavy sea and an empty horizon. A large boat’s horn resounds loudly. The woman is standing alone on a narrow floating structure.The structures themselves are sculptures Katzenstein made by casting packaging materials. Ghost images, negative molds of the appliances and commodities we use, the disposable protective stuff that is always dumped.In fact, issues pertaining to the relevancy of languages and human communication are a constant concern in Uri Katzenstein’s work and a tool he uses to characterize the immense time spans along which his works are located. By creating languages, conventions and means of physical communication, Katzenstein hints at times as yet undefined and unknown.Non-verbal communication plays an important role in Hope Machine and it consists of familiar acts and signs. The enigmatic surroundings, in which Katzenstein’s videos take place, emphasize the immense time span that justifies these communicational gaps.Also a post-apocalyptic robot is present in Hope Machine. This small robot roams the space in front of the projection plane only to greet and apologize to the viewers in six languages. The ultimately useless and domesticated robot (built, indeed, on the basis and software of a “state-of-the-art” household vacuum cleaner) nurtures the optimism and “normality” of the video’s survivors, endowing us with a rather innocuous post-apocalyptic feeling.

curatot: sergio edeisztein

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