5779. 6B/12 – Miri Segal
06.03.2019 – 04.04.2019
Desolate Anonymous Gaze Cross
GIF on monitor
Following her interest in systems of meaning and codes, Miri Segal’s work is a portrait of Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto, apparently a pseudonym, and it consists of a GIF animation flickering between two images. One image is the face of an Asian man, an image that had already been used online as Nakamoto’s official portrait. Segal discovered that the image had been originally created by the National Geographic in an attempt to generate a face whose features would embrace and sublimate all the different racial characters of today’s global population – in other words the middleman par excellence.
The other image is the so-called Afghan Girl, an award-winning photograph taken by journalist Steve McCurry that was on the cover of the June 1985 issue of the National Geographic. The photograph has been called “the First World’s Third World Mona Lisa”. While creating a flickering movement between the two faces in order to have their eyes coinciding, Segal also included two inscriptions: one is the logo of National Geographic while the other is the bitcoin symbol “฿” with the motto “in code we trust”, a reinterpretation of the inscription “in God we trust” found on the US twenty-dollar bill.
BUILDINGBOX is an independent space within the premises of BUILDING, characterized by its own unique program. The opening project, curated by Nicola Trezzi, opens on the week of Rosh HaShana, which is the beginning of the new year – the year 5779, as the title says – according to the Hebrew calendar.
Following these premises, a window gallery which is visible 24/7, and a calendar which consists of 12 months (Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Marcheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar), 5779 is a group exhibition in which several artworks are not present next to each other but rather one after the other. The structure of the calendar – day after day, month after month, year after year – becomes the guideline for the presentation of artworks by several artists; in doing so, this structure transforms the essence behind group exhibitions, from coexistence and juxtaposition to linearity and procession.
Furthermore, this specific format deconstructs the very core of the group exhibition format, which is, by definition, an exhibition in which several artworks, by several artists, are presented next to each other in a confined space and for a specific amount of time. With 5779 the idea of a group exhibition in which works of art by several artists appear, in the same space, one after the other – substituting one another, replacing one another – suggests an inversion in the equation at the base of exhibition making. Rather than rooting exhibition making into space, as it usually happens, this time the exhibition is rooted in time rather than space.