Michelle Claire Gevint
The Red Room installation / Triangle Residency / Building Bodies
Lior Tamim is a visual artist living and working in New York. Tamim’s work is often installation based and incorporates a wide variety of mediums including photography, video, performance, painting, and sculpture. His projects are site-specific, and dictates their own rules and methodology. Tamim specializes in drone photography and was the Co-Founder of BladeWorx – The first ever Drone Photography Company in Israel. Tamim studied art and photography in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem and at Parsons, The New School, New York. He currently trains to become a body-builder.
The Red Room, a hybrid performance/installation, which took place on Dec. 3rd, 2015, is the first installment of my project MF Venice. In June 2015 I adopted the character of a body builder and embraced the lifestyle of a professional athlete. As I was working to transform my mind and my body, throughout 6 months of intense training and exacerbating high-protein diet (I consumed approximately 150 whole chickens), I began relating to myself as material being manipulated.
During The Red Room, I climbed on the pedestal every 30 minutes to perform a 5 minute long display of strength and movement. I composed a vibrating red space outfitted with screens and nearly cluttered with objects of art. The space was loaded with visual stimulation and blasting rap music. It served as both a stage for a body building competition (in which I was the only competitor/performer), and a gallery, in the tradition of curation-based installation.
I consider the long and straining process of physical transformation a central component of my project. Since my gradual evolution made it hard for me to see my own physical transformation, inviting additional vantage points became a necessity. I aimed to expand notions of authorship by organizing an “open call” invitation for artists working in a variety of mediums, from painting to photography, video, animation, sculpture and new media to respond to my body as subject matter.
During my process, the artists I collaborated with served as my eyes. The various mediums were crucial for creating a large spectrum of reactions. Some collaborations required tight guidelines, other needed light framework and some were completely freestyle. The communication with the artists was based on exchange of images and materials. I reported to them with ongoing documentation of my training process.
The decision of becoming a bodybuilder is a way to push the process of creating an idealized, masked identity to the most extreme of physical boundaries. It is an exploration of a contemporary visual-driven culture where a character is being developed and maintained as representation of the self for the lens and the web to see. My body becomes not only a sculpture but also a tool for a social experiment.
Unlike a traditional installation, The Red Room layout was similar to that of a storage, where everything can be moved and utilized, a place that changes constantly. This strategy sharpened the connection between the character and the pieces in the space. The piece was designed to be a close circuit show, crafted for one night. My body will never be the same and this project will live only on reproduction.