Artis, in partnership with C24 Gallery, invites you to join us for a conversation with artists Merav Kamel & Halil Balabin, Cal Lane, Alexander Polzin, and Abed Elmajid Shalabi about disciplines in the humanities that inspire their art practice. Organized on the occasion of “Conflicted,” the group exhibition currently on view at C24 Gallery, the artists will speak about their work in the show and the ways in which music, theater, poetry, literature, mythology, philosophy, and other disciplines inform their practices. The talk will be co-moderated by Deborah Oster Pannell, Gallery Manager, C24 Gallery, and Hillit Zwick, Executive Director, Artis.
Merav Kamel and Halil Balabin live and work in Tel Aviv. They received their BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (Kamel in 2012, Balabin in 2014).
They have been working together since 2012. Their interdisciplinary work shifts among different techniques and practices, from hand-sewing hybrid figures, to drawing, painting, sculpture and site-specific installations. Their research investigates human society and modern culture through a provocative yet ironic practice, which is at times surrealistic and folkloristic, but also critical and serious. Their work focuses on gender issues, sexuality, power and control, and represents fears, weaknesses, and desires of our contemporaneity.
Merav and Halil have exhibited their work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Buchum, Germany; Philara Museum, Dusseldorf, Germany; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel; Bat Yam Museum, Bat Yam, Israel; Herzliya Museum, Herzliya, Israel; Brno House of Art, Brno, Czech Republic; Pram Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic; PM gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany; Circle 1 Gallery, Berlin, Germany; Untitled art fair, Miami, FL; Artport, Tel Aviv, Israel; Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod, Israel; Ha’Kibbutz Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; Givon Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; Basis Gallery, Herzliya, Israel; Inga Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; among many other venues. Merav and Halil are recipients of an Artis Residency Grant for a residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York (August-September, 2023).
Their work is included in many public and private collections such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Israel Museum, Philara collection, Carry and Dan Bronner collection, Discount Bank collection, Roni and Allen Baharaff collection, Shoken collection, Ann and Ari Rosenblatt collection, Dubi Shiff collection, and others.
Merav and Halil are recipients of the Beatrice S. Kolliner Award for a Young Israeli Artist, Israel Museum; Israel Ministry of Culture, Young Artist Award (Kamel in 2018, Balabin on 2016); the Artis Grant for Exceptional Work in Uncertain Times; “Elhanani” Prize from Bezalel Academy of Art; and the America-Israel cultural Foundation award for extraordinary artistic achievement.
Originally hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, Cal Lane has worked out of Putnam Valley, New York for the last 20 years. Her multi-disciplinary practice explores the paradoxical implications of gender and associated cultural traditions and expectations, as expressed through found objects and materials. Lane is best recognized for her steel works, into which she plasma cuts intricate, lace-like patterns. The juxtaposition of steel, a traditionally masculine and industrial material used in objects like oil drums, shovels, car hoods and barbells with the patterns of lace, associated with femininity and domesticity, provides viewers an opportunity to examine their personal assumptions about gender. Lane’s preoccupation with this topic has its roots in her background as both a hairdresser and later, a welder. Her love/hate relationship with steel has given her license to subvert its popular meanings while celebrating its tensile strength, as she does her best to push the limits of how much it can be altered.
Born in East Berlin in 1973, Alexander Polzin originally trained as a stonemason. He enjoys an international career as a sculptor, painter, stage designer and opera director. In addition, he develops unique collaborations with writers, composers, musicians, choreographers and scholars from all over the world.
Polzin’s sculptures and paintings can be seen today in public spaces across the world. For example his Giordano Bruno Monument in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz (this sculpture is also installed at the Central European University in Budapest and the City Hall in Nola, Italy). Additionally his Fallen Angel is at the Collegium Helveticum, Zürich;; Socrates for Tel Aviv University, The Couple, for the foyer of the Opéra national de Paris, Bastille, Dante Heads at Teatro Real in Madrid, and The Couple II for La Monnaie/De Mund Royal Opera House in Brussels. In May 2016 a memorial sculpture to Paul Celan was unveiled by the mayor of Paris in the Anne Frank Garden.
Major exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Budapest, Bucharest, Naples, Berlin’s Institute of Advanced Studies, Bard College in New York, Einstein Forum Potsdam, San Francisco International Arts Festival, Teatro Real - Madrid, NCPA Beijing, Salzburg Easter Festival and Anna Akhmatova Museum in St. Petersburg.
His most recent solo exhibitions were held in London in 2015 (Maestro Arts) and Berlin in 2014 / 2016 (Galerie Kornfeld). In January 2015 solo exhibitions of his work were shown at Grand Théâtre de Genève to coincide with his designs for Iphigénie en Tauride and the Kunstmuseum Ahrenshoop showed "Aus meinem Augenfenster, Hommage an Thomas Brasch". In 2015 his artworks were exhibited at the Vatican Museums in Rome. The exhibition has also been shown in The House of Representatives, Berlin and City Museum, Wrocław. An exhibition of his work focussed around his friendship with György Kurtág was featured at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2016. In 2017 Galerie Rhomberg presented “All or Nothing” at the Kitzbühel Country Club in Austria.
Polzin has been the recipient of “Artist-in-Residences” at the International Artists House in Herzliya, Israel, Kollegium Helveticum - Zurich, Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, and the Centre for Advanced Study at the Käte Hamburger Collegium for Research in the Humanities in Bonn. Polzin has also been a visiting professor at ETH Zurich and the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Abed Elmajid Shalabi is a Palestinian artist currently based in Richmond, Virginia. He holds an MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University (2021) and a BFA from Shenkar College in Israel (2019). Shalabi has participated in various artist residencies, including The Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, The Lighthouse Works, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His artistic practice has been supported by Artis, The Foundation of Contemporary Arts, and The Robert Weil Family Foundation, and he was awarded the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship. Shalabi's artwork has been exhibited in various galleries, and artist-run spaces and featured in Washington Post and Burnaway Magazine. He is currently a Hamiltonian Artist Fellow in Washington, D.C. and a recipient of an Artis Residency Grant for a residency at NARS Foundation in New York (July-September, 2023.
Abed is a sculptor whose work is rooted in the transformation of everyday objects into emotionally and politically-charged sculptures. Shalabi uses ceramic as the main material in his work, allowing him to create visually-appealing gloss objects that conceal their fragile and dysfunctional nature. Through a combination of ceramic, found objects, concrete, wood, and aluminum, Shalabi's work blurs the line between fragility and solidity. His work explores the intersection of Western and Arab cultures, highlighting the gap between the promises and realities of capitalist urban design. Shalabi's installations are theatrical spaces that examine power structures and gender relationships, particularly as they relate to the experiences of queer individuals and the Arab community.
C24 Gallery was established in 2011 in New York City. Under the leadership of Director/Curator David C. Terry, through a diverse roster of contemporary art in multiple mediums, they’ve developed an international program that speaks to a sense of global awareness and interconnection. The Gallery also engages in collaborative programming partnerships with non-profts and other cultural organizations, including the New York based Consulate General of Germany, the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition, Goethe-Institut, Soho House, the German Academic Exchange Service, Galerie Deschler Berlin, A:D: Curatorial, Artis, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and Field Projects. As culture producers, they support social equity, restorative justice and environmental protection, offering thought-provoking content and programming while engaging in community conversations and projects worldwide.