Burning Bush 2012, video installation, 28 minutes loop,

"shows the artist's face painted black with soot. The mouth inhales and exhales smoke. The face, which at first appears to be a flat, black surface, is partly lit and reveals its contours. The chest is covered with black spots and presented in the classic posture of the self-portrait and in an androgynous way, thereby pointing towards the problematic status of the female body as a represented object. Soot and smoke refer to industrial means of production, as well as to capitalism as a way of 'melting all that is solid into the air'. Wearing soot as a mask recalls the fact that somewhere physical work still takes place, and that it is performed predominantly by those who are not part of the glorious regime of creative and cognitive labor. Like the artist's face, it is invisible labor: invisible because of its remoteness (it is outsourced to parts of the world we do not observe closely) or because it does not count as gainful employment (like female carework). One could also have the impression that the face is consuming itself by inhaling and exhaling: A self-sufficient circle of production and indulgence in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere. Everything has already been burned".

Burning bush

As a foreigner living in Germany, much of Noa Gur's recent body of work speaks of subverted perceptions, in particularly self-perception, as informed by the act of navigating between seeing and being seen. In her work “Burning Bush” (2012), the Israeli artist casts herself as a black, fuming stain. The video shows a figure's torso and head, the neck tilted back slightly to face the viewer over exposed shoulders. The pose would seem flirtatious if it weren't for the fact that the face is completely obliterated by black soot, and the shoulders dirty. Exhaling and inhaling smoke, the androgyne is menacing; it subverts the iconography of seduction, easily reproducible with a bear shouldered, pouty-mouthed female model, and recalls instead an old racist German rhyme which mocks blackness with the image of a chimney sweeper's black face.

Dawn till dusk, 2012,Burning bush was shown during the exhibition Dawn till dusk together with the video works

  • white noise I and II
  • and
  • painting on all fours
  • >>