2009 - Ongoing
On the black wall extending before the viewer heavy, bright wooden shelves are lined, holding upside-down bottles, some of them fallen, others just hanging on. These are half-empty bottles of alcoholic drinks, with coiled white sheets inserted in their mouths, obscurely tying and connecting their ends. The installation is inspired by a sense of trickling fluids, but also of boundaries and borders. The invisible is highlighted; the intimate and hidden are exposed.
The work entitled Sweat (2010) conveys a toxic feeling. It is underlain by a seductive, lustrous, stimulating dimension, but also a forbidden, dirty facet, both immersed in a sense of violence as well as self- and general destruction. It brings together rigid structural elements, such as the shelves, and soft amorphous elements, such as the wound sheets. As the fluids are being absorbed, however, the rigidity of the shelves is gradually cracked and softened, while the softness of the sheets becomes turbid, stained, and hardened. The work intertwines refinement and superfluity, delicacy and bluntness, order and lack of control. The tradition of minimalist sculpture is highly present in it, but at the same time, it also embeds inseparably blended specific and personal contents which undermine the rigidity of its frame, such as nightlife, with their music, drinking, and radicalized intimacy.
The combination of the glass bottles and the alcohol contained in them calls to mind improvised Molotov cocktails whose production is prompted by ideological and moral strengths, but by hands which are not always skilled. The temporal dimension involved in the work reinforces the element of threat inherent in it. In the first stage, the physical balance of liquid indeed halts the absorption of fluids in the work, but in the second stage, the process continues into the realms of the contingent and unknown, since there is no telling if and when the entire work might collapse due to the change in the shelves' state of aggregation. (
- Text by Hadas Maor. Exhibited at Tel Aviv Museum of Art as part of the solo exhibition Sweat.
For Sweat 3, Tsabar additionally addresses ideas of coupling and separation, borders and boundaries, and her own Israeli identity through the materials and composition. The choice of bottles for this sculpture is the aniseed liquor Arak, which comes from Arabic araq meaning sweat. First made in Lebanon, it is now the traditional alcoholic beverage in Israel and throughout the Middle East. The two separate bed sheets, rather than her typical one or more entwined, are stuffed into the mouth of each of the two matching bottles, slowly absorbing the liquid over the course of the month. Stained and exuding a sweet scent up close, the soft sheets penetrate the rigid shelf through holes, each going their separate ways. Trapped in a closed cycle, the work consumes itself slowly through the course of the exhibition and exudes a sense of futility.