Pace Galleries

Michal Rovner

Evolution

Installation view, "Michal Rovner: Evolution," Mar 9 – Apr 15, 2018, Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, photography by Glen Cheriton.

Installation view, "Michal Rovner: Evolution," Mar 9 – Apr 15, 2018, Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, photography by Glen Cheriton.

Installation view, "Michal Rovner: Evolution," Mar 9 – Apr 15, 2018, Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, photography by Glen Cheriton.

Installation view, "Michal Rovner: Evolution," Mar 9 – Apr 15, 2018, Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, photography by Glen Cheriton.

Installation view, "Michal Rovner: Evolution," Mar 9 – Apr 15, 2018, Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, photography by Glen Cheriton.

Installation view, "Michal Rovner: Evolution," Mar 9 – Apr 15, 2018, Pace Gallery, Palo Alto, photography by Glen Cheriton.

Michal Rovner Nilus, 2018. 2 LCD screens and video, 57-1/8” x 65-3/8” x 4-5/8” (145 x 166 x 11.8 cm).

Michal Rovner Nilus, 2018. 2 LCD screens and video, 57-1/8” x 65-3/8” x 4-5/8” (145 x 166 x 11.8 cm).
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About Michal Rovner

Michal Rovner’s (b. 1957, Israel) work in video, sculpture, drawing, sound and installation has been exhibited in over 60 solo exhibitions including a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Jeu de Paume, and the Louvre. In 2006, Rovner began a series of monumental structures titled “Makom” (Place) using stones from dismantled or destroyed Israeli and Palestinian houses from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Haifa, the Galilee, and the border of Israel and Syria. She worked with Israeli and Palestinian masons to construct new spaces encompassing history, memory and time. In 2013, Rovner created the installation “Traces of Life” at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum devoted to the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered in the Shoah. Rovner’s video installations were exhibited at the Tate Gallery, the Stedelijk Museum, LVMH Headquarters, and Yad Vashem. Rovner lives and works in New York and Israel.

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Press Release

  • Michal Rovner: Evolution

    Pace Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition in Palo Alto dedicated to the work of pioneering artist Michal Rovner. On view at 229 Hamilton Ave. from March 9 through May 13, 2018 with an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, March 8, from 4 - 7 p.m., Evolution features videos and prints that mark a return to Rovner’s unique, abstracted language. The exhibition also follows Pace Gallery’s presentation at Photofairs 2018, featuring Rovner’s video and photography work.

    Rovner’s last exhibition at Pace in New York in 2016, Night, featured images of jackals from encounters in dark fields. Her encounters with darkness generate nocturnal images, capturing moments that are immersed in shadows. The works reverberate an unfamiliar dimension, a sense of fear and alertness, primal powers and the night within us. A central part of Evolution is a powerful video work Nilus (2018)—a nocturnal silhouette of a jackal, stretched across two screens, as across two pages of a book, whose space is filled with dense lines of miniature human figures. The unique nocturnal light, something in the shape of the vigilant animal, possibly exposed to danger, the glimmer of its hollow eyes in which human figures appear occasionally to be reflected – all of these elements along with the dense lines of the flickering “text,” create a disturbing feeling that something is amiss, perhaps the creature is artificial, maybe a cloned jackal, maybe a hybrid. Duality and duplication recur across several aspects of this work, and are especially prominent in the double movement: the sporadic movement of the jackal, and the repetitive movement of the human figures, which appear to be marking themselves, or signaling, or calling out for help.

    In her return to her language of abstraction, which consists of duplicated patterns of human movements, Rovner has intensified this language. The human figures have lost basic contours, to the point that their humanity is sometimes hard to identify; gone are the landscapes in which the figures move; the movement itself, which apparently repeats itself, has become more wild; the lines, structures and patterns change more rapidly; florescent-like red flashes appear, that call to mind the emergency, danger and alarm lights that permeate our world.

    Across the works in the exhibition, Rovner presents us with the evolution of these hieroglyphic-like, narrative-less “texts.” At first they are much more representative, clearer, relatively stable; then they become more rapid, fleeting, hard to grasp, ambiguous, alluding to the intensity and communication overload of a reality that allows us to see everything, from the electronic innards of a computer to brain synapses, a reality of barcodes, control panels, matrix charts, microchips, and the like. While the lines of text still invariably feature human figures, human signs and gestures; reading them is becoming harder and harder. In the end, only the writing remains, as a signifier without the signified, striving to be seen, to sparkle, flash, stand out, as if the ultimate representation of human consciousness is signaling for help.

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