Entering the video installation Tachsisim/Doppelspiel (tricks/double play) by German artist Johanna Reich and Israeli artist Tzachi Buchbut, the viewer finds himself in a dynamic parallel world: a large wall painting disappearing in clouds of white, shining lambent flames, sparks of light emerging from black paper. A dark object stands out in this universe of images, a table laying on its side, reminiscent of a home, a gathering place which invites conversation and exchange, evoking a dreamlike state of distant memories. The table’s position and the flames consuming it, however, thwart all attempts to find peace. Reich and Buchbut constantly shatter illusions by inserting little reminders of the artificial. They explore the ambivalent area where moments of recognition and feelings of complete foreignness occur at the same time. The artists negotiate the spaces between the two- and three-dimensional, challenging the boundaries of drawing, sculpture, video, and painting, misleading the viewers’ perception, circumventing the mind, and tricking themselves into extending the boundaries of their own artistic work.
Each part of the installation has its own rhythm: the constant, ever-changing flickering of the flames; the pulsating puncture of the paper escalating into an aggressive cacophony of punches. Moments of order are followed by chaotic images and loss of control, highlighting the interplay of creative forces and destructive elements. At times, these playful elements are somewhat vicious, as small lies support illusions; at other times they are innocently inviting to let go and give up one’s principles in the game.
The artists examine the duality of presence and absence where processes of disappearance and concealment play a role. The work surrenders human presence, but only its leftovers are actually represented. While raising questions about isolation and loneliness, Reich and Buchbut create poetic spaces which demand continual reorientation. Everything is in constant flux. As time passes, an element of hesitation and confusion evolves: the processes repeat themselves indefinitely, making one wonder: Is anything happening at all?