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Direct Aim(2010)

Direct Aim explains the physical premise of shooting straight at the target in military terms. Political demonstrations are typically fraught with tension between military forces and the demonstrators themselves because accidents invariably occur in this heated and frenetic environment, and innocent civilians often end up hurt. The proponents of the injured parties complain about the brutality of such shootings, and the military inevitably claims that it did not shoot at the innocent parties with the intention of ‘Direct Aim’.





















Performance view, Moby Museum of Bat Yam, Israel.


It is a reoccurring situation, adding an entirely new dimension of unnecessary violence to an already fiery military atmosphere. Meir Tati aims to explore that very same tension in his rendition of Direct Aim, a mixed media, interactive piece that situates Tati as a living crash-test dummy, a motionless freestanding target, shot at by his audience, one at a time and on a one-to-one basis. Videos of the private ‘shootings’ are streamed outside in a separate space, placing Tati alone in a room with a single shooter and therefore creating an entirely new moral landscape each time a new person enters the room. By creating this intimacy, Tati creates a space where the shooter/spectator can feel comfortable with themselves so that their choices can occur organically and genuinely. The shooters must choose from a selection of balls, varying in texture, size and hardness, and direct their shot at Tati with a gun that works on compressed air.


















Installation view, Moby Museum of Bat Yam, Israel.

By placing the audience inside the piece, Tati brings them into a certain kind of experiment that deconstructs the passive nature of art, inviting spectators to step outside of that preconceived role and take an active part in the work instead. For Tati, the audience always exists during the performance but never when he is planning it, making this an ever-shifting variable that keeps the exercise fluid and dynamic and tinges the energy of each show with its distinctive essence. Tati is interested in raising the stakes, forcing his audience to dig deeper into their ethical worldview. A video shot with a high-definition camera in slow motion shows what happens to the body when all varieties of objects strike together, the film meaning to evoke some military experiment, not unlike the daily testing of boundaries that occurs on the streets of political demonstrations worldwide. Tati ultimately creates a unique setting where the body, his body, becomes a testing ground for play-infused decision-making that speaks directly to the paradoxical phenomenon of intentional and unintentional violence.

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