The practice of Tchelet Ram deals with the notion of dwelling and its potential loss. “Holding the Candle” her solo exhibition at the CCA, is based on the desire to live the life of a wanderer. Inspired by various forms of ascetic life and by the kind freedom it offers, the artist is appropriating materials that characterise the aforementioned lifestyle, materials that are embedded in meager and humble existence. Through her interest in the tension between the escapist horizon of nomadic life and its practical, essential and survivalist mode, Ram conceived a show based on improvisation and modulation. Nomadism presupposes the lack of a fixed place of abode, and yet it is related to the capability of making a home at any place and with anything. Ram applies these ideas to the CCA and to its adjoining spaces.
Outside the CCA, Ram has placed a 1992 Subaru pickup truck that has been modified in various ways. In the 2010s, this iconic automobile is located on the seam between a work vehicle and an antique car; although it is still used for commute and storage, it gradually becomes a desirable, fetishistic object. Her sculptural gestures directed to this vehicle oscillate between two contradictory movements: the first, which is that of a person in search for a home, has to do with structurally transforming the truck into a living space; the other is that of an object on the verge of losing its use-value while undergoing an improvised process of conservation which attests to the inability to part with it.
Inside the gallery, various sculptures – which can be defined as surreal models of living spaces – are presented through a display that employs light and movement as a sign of suspended time. Ram inspects the survivalist creativity and its game-like disposition. She examines the ability of the ephemeral to appropriate a space in a similar way to a child building a kingdom under the table, or a vagabond who builds a makeshift shelter for the night, only to dismantle it by dawn. For Ram, one’s capability to lead a modular existence marks an acceptance of the uncertain and persistently changing nature of life. Thus, the various sculptures in the exhibition also require a movement – of light, of the body, of the imagination.
“Tchelet Ram: “Third Wheel” is guest curated by Hila Cohen-Schneiderman,
Photos: Liat Elbling