Caryatid

Dr. Nana Ariel

The white surface is deceptive. For a moment the works seem to be decorative elements in a Victorian drawing room or some sacred icons in a church, until something emerges that should not have been there.

 

These are sculptures that are united by the principle of flickering - an array of emerging imagery: here an eviscerated organ appears, there a leaf or a shell, and it is unclear whether the amputated finger pointed at you is an index finger or just giving you the finger. The figurines are as familiar as they are treacherous.

 

Dana Yoeli's clay and porcelain sculptures fuse decoration, elements of nature and body parts, creating a genre of ‘drawing room’  fossils - impolite and very funny objects. They create a world of wild porcelain in which delicate craftsmanship eschews its purpose and takes a volcanic turn - they are more like stand-up comedy on the stage of Pompeii than they are fragile vessels in a tea ceremony

 

 

The sculptures are not polite enough to function as naive decorative elements that can be cherished, but also not blunt enough to satisfy the scandalous instinct and craving for shock of the bourgeoisie.  It's impossible to be shocked by exquisite craftsmanship. The sculptures shift between pleasure and revulsion, simultaneously evoking smiles and restlessness, producing white noise. As in her previous works, Yoeli creates a pagan, Ashkenazi world - a tumultuous and perverted universe cloaked in white.

 

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The supporting pillars in the shape of a woman in a temple on the Athenian Acropolis are known as Caryatids. Those stone women carry the sacred structure on their backs, almost collapsing beneath it. But Dana Yoeli's caryatid is a dismembered sculpture that has been re-welded, out of context and purposeless, it cannot bare any weight.  It refuses to support any sanctity.