Ma’ok (Deep Gorge), 2011 (installation view), polystyrene, sand, lime, cement, wood and felt, courtesy of the artist
Dana Yoeli's work may call to mind a ceramic wall or a concrete relief in public buildings, although it is, in fact, made of lightweight synthetic polystyrene. The panoramic format of the relief conjures up the classical Renaissance concept of painting as a window onto reality, especially as it is sunken into a niche in the wall. It is easy to be carried away by the window illusion, although there is nothing less illusive than a relief comprised of abstract geometrical forms.
The Hebrew title of the work, Ma'ok, primarily generates distress (mu'aka), as the term is vague and unfamiliar; only later does it lead one to the geological meaning: a deep gorge created by the flux of running water. The proposal of a landscape is reinforced only to immediately dissolve itself since the work is an abstract formal array, an impervious screen. While the composition asks to be discussed in formal concepts of rhythm, light and shade, two-dimensional and three-dimensional, the vertical format and the title drawn from the natural world return one, time and again, to the panoramic observation.
The panorama offers itself as a formal space devoid of an internal hierarchy, much like Jackson Pollock's paintings which extend all over the canvas. The strict decoration and the fusion of painting and sculpture with the language of architecture generate the multi-leveled discourse in Yoeli's work: between abstract and an illusion of nature, and, in fact, between formalism and content.
Born in Israel, 1979; lives and works in Tel Aviv