Beyond clichés "Signed Lines": the double-sided diffusion.On Meir Tati's work in the exhibition "Diffusion",Kav 16 Gallery,Tel Aviv
Meir Tati's video installation in the exhibition "Diffusion" corresponds with his sequential performance and video works from the past few years, filled with disillusioning somersaults of meanings. In this work Tati installs a video projection of a performative action within a monumental graphite wall drawing, which defines a street map of Neve Eliezer neighborhood, the location of the Kav 16 Gallery. The drawing serves as an outline decoding the LCD monitor of minute size installed in the heart of the sketch showing the real urban action performed by the artist in this neighborhood.In the documented action Tati is seen at night, marking the sidewalks of the streets in a yellow powder, forming a long line which defines the boundaries of the neighborhood – a line visible also in the contour of the graphite drawing on the wall, defining its limits as well. The yellow powder is dispersed via a pipe attached to a large see-through 3-slotted carry-on that Tati bears on his back – perhaps a formalistic paraphrase on the pest-control instruments used in the 1960's in the region. These elements may seem socio-political, however Tati's "pop"-spirited humor and his personal performative presence defy didactic social and political meanings that may naturally stem out from such actions.The yellow line, in its most initial form, is a bright color signifying warning or separation – characteristic elements of this Tel Aviv neighborhood known typically for its low socio-economic status in the city. The artist's paraphrase of the pest-control instrument carries notions of morbidity – a sign of inferiority or ostracism, or if you will – the expulsion of the new immigrants in the 1950's.Yet this is a parody on social dogmas, perhaps a step beyond – the "urban terror" performed by the artist within the neighborhood is also a popic action, colorful and vibrant made with a functional yet "decorative" instrument, seemingly science-fictional. What could have been seen as an aggressive act turns illusional and funny, even dark – as if one is dispensing colorful magic powder in the wind of a "defined" life environment.Tati, a dark-skinned Rasta-headed man (attributes integral to his performative persona), acts as a "cheap low-tech" comics hero, emptying himself of any possible didactic pathos of the performative act. In relation to this, here the term "theatrical" performance is not considered a bad word, but serves as freedom for the artist, a liberty for one who has no intention of pretending he was born into an elite, and at the same time does not arouse empathy as un underprivileged person. The transmission of cruel messages is not a discrete act needing extra interpretation beyond its "comics" illusion, but acts a-priori as conscious raw material of one who is aware of the social conventions of protest.