Melodies of Certain Damage (Opus 3)
The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv
December 22, 2018 - February 9, 2019

Throughout her practice, Tsabar repeatedly returns to the iconic act of breaking the guitar. In her newest series of large-scale installations, titled “Melodies of Certain Damage,” broken guitars are scattered about the gallery. Strings are reattached to the musical “debris” in an unconventional way, creating a constellation of resynthesized instruments – a phoenix rising from the wreckage. Tsabar’s striking floor-bound installation imposes a unique configuration between instrument and body. To play the instruments-cum-installation, visitors must lay on the floor next to the pieces, or find other positions with which to interact with the work. Such a choreography engenders a vulnerability within visitors or performers, generating a new kind of intimacy between the instrument and its activator. Transforming the remains of the iconic action of breaking a guitar into a new functioning order in many ways undermines its historic gendered manifestation in Rock ‘n’ Roll. The image of the male rock star, able freely to express anger and rebellion, and to impose violence, has become almost paradigmatic today. By maintaining the composition of the guitars as they originally fractured when broken, Tsabar focuses on the aftermath of the violence, the debris. Transforming the remains, perhaps even the victims of violence, into a new and beautiful landscape is an empowering female act.

Performance on Melodies of Certain Damage (Opus 3), 2018
Composed and performed in collaboration with Rotem Frimer, Nina Loeterman, Maya Perry, Moran Victoria Sabbag, Sarah Strauss and Naama Tsabar.
The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, 2018. Images courtesy of CCA. Photos: Eyal Agivayev

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