Lihi Turjeman (born 1985) is a Tel-aviv based Artist. She studied at Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem (2010 BFA, 2014 MFA) and at the école national superior des beaux-arts in Paris, as a visiting student (2008/9). In 2015 she stayed at the artist residency ‘Cite international des Art’ in Paris and a forthcoming (2016) resident in Artport TLV. Her large scale painting installations are characterized by a monochromatic nature and Revolves around space in all its forms and multiple meanings. Her works emphasize the extreme duality of an epic approach and a microscopic attention to details that are drawn by ‘mapping’ and scratching the surface.
Painting is a visual language, a fabric, a text, a texture; a silent speech of effects, Material, compositions; my chosen way to touch people’s souls. I work without a theory: I deal with multifaceted dimensions of passion and reason, the external and internal, our physical and spiritual encounter with the world and the possibility of that broad awareness to be drawn and rise from my paintings. The forces that I use are my guides and controllers and what drives me forward is a concept I do not really know but rather during its development by virtue of the evolution of the work.
I work as a haunted archeologist, endowed with an epic tendency who is working, on one level at a physical site, a location, where she’s digging, using her body and tools, and on the other level, constantly researching and checking herself, according to the Findings and discoveries. This movement is a way of life of an ongoing Data Assemblage, Endless Observation, Contemplation and reflection. Each season, the archeologist is looking for the next excavation site ;Furthermore, imagine this archeologist carrying a Metal Detector with her, attended to each hum, trying to listen to the voices that might hint or indicate on anything buried underground, beneath the surface: a tragedy, a lost voice, a forgotten dream. When I find something, I want it above the ground, engraved within the apparent, seen aesthetically to others, like traces or evidence. For that reason I am interested with the surface itself, the skin, the ground: Exploration of the substrate as an object that embodies the total actions which are scratched and etched on it, that indicates to paintings doing within microscopic attention to detail and a super close care of the canvas.
The body of work consists of surficial/territorial large scale works, painting of objects and fragments and indexical works; all of those interchange from the particular to the global scope. Each period of work, wraps a tangle of cultural and historical visions, geographical and Mythological, both subjective and collective; A Leakage between past and present, Autobiography and Fiction, I look around as I look inside. The encounter between a progressive, Logocentric and disciplined perception and practice, and mystical components, an unpredictable chaos of expanding nature and the irregular diffusion of organisms, exists in my work in a non–hierarchical relationship, where no consciousness attains superiority over the other.
My work corresponds with the many forms and meaning of space, mental or concrete, as well as Characteristics of the studio I work in: format, heights and distances, are elements that affect my process and I often create site specific works.
My relationship with the image is complex, it is often important to me to create something tangible, a clear vision while on other channel, the image has to collapse, fall apart, Capture the enigma and preserve the fog that surrounds the questions that were raised. Investigating and mining the zone between abstraction and representation is an essential part in my practice, it involves constant reactions, in which even an 'accident' can become integral; a crack on the wall , Fold Bumps or waves on fabric might become essential and to lead to a new pictorial discovery. Sometimes I treat and prepare the canvas while planning its purpose, other times the material itself dictates the content. I am especially attracted to canvas for its many qualities, and its multiplicity of faces: it’s a wall, a territory, a map that wasn’t yet drawn; it can absorb violence and tenderness of the eye and hand; Textile/text/texture, this connection is not only semantic but essential.
At some point I dismissed the classic color palette and brush strokes, adopted and developed physical actions that I perform on the surface: cleaning, Turning, staining, gluing, plucking, rubbing and peeling. As for the materials, usually I pick and mix them myself and create multi-component fluids: charcoal, graphite, pigments and other powders, adhesives, acids, oxides, stones alloy, sand... The aspiration is close ties between the material and the idea: The painter thoughts are worthless without the means that enables to express it, that’s how I feel. In that sense my practice has a sense of foreignness and a lack of hold inside the medium.