Last updated February 9th 2015

Tom Friedman’s “Up in the Air” installation at the Tel Aviv Museum is a captivating display of everyday items. Comprised of 650 small objects and shapes hanging in the beautiful Lightfall at the center of the new museum building, the installation is an exciting scene, shedding a unique light on 21st century lifestyle.

“Friedman’s perspective on pop culture, consumerism and capitalism is rather complex,” explains Ruti Direktor, the museum’s Curator of Contemporary Arts. “The hundreds of objects floating in the air make it difficult not to stare. As you walk around them and gaze into the large space, it makes for a near meditative experience, almost Zen.”

The creation by Tom Friedman, an American conceptual sculptor, was first presented at the Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art in Stockholm. The Lightfall is the third place where the installation has been reconstructed, providing an alluring background for its hundreds of handcrafted objects. “Friedman was truly excited and satisfied with the result,” says Direktor. “He had never worked with such a strange and challenging space.”

“When I first heard of him in the 90’s, some of his most famous works were very minimalist. For example, in 1000 Hours of Staring he took a piece of paper, hung it up in his studio and stared at it for a thousand hours. When I try to place ‘Up in the Air’ on the history of his creation, it fascinates me to see how it’s so plentiful, crowded and abundant, while knowing that he is capable of the other extreme.”

Personally, I don’t find too much of a contradiction between the two. Both extreme minimalism and over-the-top abundance generate the same overwhelming experience, which is definitely what I felt when I looked over the gallery balconies into the huge installation.

The installation is on display at Tel Aviv Museum of Art [27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd] March 15, 2015.

http://www.tamuseum.org.il/en

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Written by Yuval Regev

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