Guy Zagursky

02 Nov - 15 Dec 2012

© Guy Zagursky
Shark(s), 2012
230cm x 160 cm
No Lifeguard on Duty
2 November – 15 December 2012

In the middle of the space a shark rests on the back of a trestle. There are sharks that need other animals to bear their name: Zebra Sharks, Crocodile Sharks, and also Tiger Sharks. And there is an additional shark: the Trestle Shark. Or to be precise - a Donkey Shark (in Hebrew, a trestle means a donkey). And lest we be mistaken, it's imperative to add color to the shark: alas, the Red Donkey Shark. Such a shark is found at the heart of a dry expanse. The entire gallery is like an empty aquarium. The waterline is marked on the black engine hood hanging on the wall. The water (Formalin?) has leaked out, the tap is disconnected and there is no lifeguard on duty.

The Red Donkey Shark is always planted in the ground. It's a tree. It neither floats nor suspends in the air. The shark is not a dolphin and the donkey is not a hoop. The Donkey Shark is no entertainer, but is rather the obstacle. It takes a stand, immersing itself in the midst of confrontation. Its color verifies its location on the map. Its many encounters with humans have been documented throughout the years at the outbreak of failed revolutionary attempts and futile demonstrations of power (In Berlin, 1968, a Red Donkey Shark devoured a blue cop).

The dry expanse allows the sound waves to pass back and forth and reverberate. The engine hood, once removed, reveals the mechanism. Above the water, the noise is harsh. Those arriving equipped with binoculars (how good it looks!) have forgotten their earplugs and fled. The fight isn't fair. Eight against one. But the shark is borne on the back of two donkeys. Eight against three. And the shark is actually two sharks. Eight against six. And the shark is a she-shark. In its belly, another she-shark. Eight against eight. And on the hood is inscribed the memory of water.

- Asaf Hazan

No Lifeguard on Duty, Guy Zagursky's solo exhibition at Sommer Contemporary Art, constitutes an interim reflection on Zagursky's two year residency in Berlin. Zagursky is known for immaculately crafted large-scale sculptural works that employ an equal measure of humor and dead-pan resolve.
The result is an irony that turns relationships on their heads; small gestures become monumental and over-sized symbols of stature are robbed of their power.
In the upcoming exhibition, No Lifeguard on Duty, Zagursky deals with the complex interaction between progress and stasis and ironically examines the limits of power. The show features classically carved objects from wood contrasted with raucous machines made of metal. The clashing disciplines produce material contrasts, which organize the sculptural space and present viewers with an aesthetic experience with possible multiple readings.

Guy Zagursky (b. 1972) is an interdisciplinary sculptor based in Tel Aviv.

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