Litvak Contemporary, Tel Aviv
Litvak Contemporary's show at VOLTA deals with the current age of post-truth media and politics. As public discourse becomes more adversarial and dominated by television performances, the status of facts in the public debate rises: Rather than understanding the facts outside the fray of political argument, facts are now one of the main rhetorical weapons within it. Not only are we constantly flooded with knowledge from various sources (in varying levels of credibility) but we are also in the middle of a transition from a society of facts to a society of data. During this interim, confusion abounds surrounding the exact status of knowledge and numbers in public life, exacerbating the sense that truth itself is being abandoned.
Shai Kremer's haunting conceptual series "Smoke Screen" was conceived as a response to living in a world of data and in a present of constantly evolving narratives. The smoke's nebulousness highlights how facts get blurred in today's "post-truth" era. The images evoke a sense of heightened unpredictability. As we are witnessing Kremer's edited photographs we are reminded of the proliferation of fake news, debunked claims, and the newly coined "alternative facts".
Vaclav Cigler's minimalistic sculptures can also be understood as part of the post truth age: Cigler's spheres distort one's view. The "reality" which is reflected when looking through the sculptural forms is not one singular form of reality but different views dependent on the spectator's position, height and the changing day-light. Made in a variety of colors and surfaces, Cigler's spheres are part of a modernist art tradition but can also be understood as post-modern. The sculptures echo Constantin Brancusi's seminal "Newborn" (1920) artwork. Their sleek and smooth nature is a metaphor for today's facts, born a new each time according to changing contexts.