Meirav Heiman
In my art, I try to focus on the gap between the ideal and the concrete, the virtual and the real, the personal and the anonymous, and undermine the fantasy of the sacred family institution. In most of my works I use props, stylized design, humor, exaggeration and grotesque elements, in an attempt to create a sense of familiarity and estrangement at the same time. I am interested in rituals that have become mechanical and in distorting body language so that it intensifies feelings of loneliness and detachment.
My art deals mostly with staged human situations, common in everyday personal and family life. In my works, either in photography, video or installation, I choose to focus on familiar, simple situations, derived from my own experiences and surroundings. In my works, I aim to manipulate these situations in order to demonstrate and expose, through a process of defamiliarization, the beauty, the fragility, the misery and the absurdity of life, that usually go unnoticed.
Loneliness, intimacy, family relations, sexuality, stereotypes and the search for love, are recurrent subjects in my art. The never ending search for a sense of homeyness and warmth is also one of my main themes. Since the perfect home fantasy cannot be fulfilled, this search only emphasizes the imperfections and flaws within the system, that turns the home into an alter on which we sacrifice ourselves and our loved ones for bourgeoisie values.
Recently I have started dealing with questions concerning authenticity and the yearn for what is supposedly “natural”. After conquering, industrializing and effectively destroying nature, mankind is now surrounding itself with fake plants and natural elements, comprised of environmentally hazardous materials, in a paradoxical attempt to reunite with it. Some of my latest works focus on modern Western society’s great effort and failure to reconnect with nature through these artificial means.
In dealing with highly charged subjects and questioning our society’s basic foundations, I wish to create an empathic gaze, taking into account the flaws and strengths we have as individuals and as a society as a whole. Though sometimes intentionally ridiculous, the characters in my works express a constant desire to receive sympathy and love, a desire most living beings have in common. My work is composed of documentation of staged situations: personal, family and social. I am dealing with common scenarios that I manipulate so that beauty and pain, the miserable and the absurd, comes to life. Love, loneliness, family relationships, sexuality and stereotypes are all subject matters which come together in my work and sometimes include myself as a participatory performer.