Gal Weinstein | Sun Stand Still | 57th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia

Israeli Pavillion | curated by Tami Katz-Freiman
Inauguration Thursday, May 11, 1.00 p.m.
Preview 10–12 May 2017
13 May – 26 November 2017

Sun Stand Still, a site-specific installation by Gal Weinstein, is an exploration of the human desire to stop time. Reflecting a fascination with actual and potential forms of creation and destruction, progress and devastation, this project critically engages with the mythological and Romantic images embedded in Israel’s collective memory. The installation's title refers to the biblical miracle performed by the ancient Israelite leader Joshua Bin-Nun, who sought to win his battle against the kings of Canaan before darkness fell. By commanding the sun to stop in its course, Bin-Nun attempted to arrest the passage of time.

Extending over the pavilion's three levels and courtyard, Sun Stand Still consists of six individual works, which taken together, they create a narrative that may be read as a post-apocalyptic vision, revealing the cost of human hubris in the enterprise of civilization. Weinstein's project may also be interpreted as a melancholic and poetic allegory of the Israeli story – one composed of miraculous acts and moments of enlightenment as well as neglect and destruction.

Weinstein’s unique choice of materials – metallic wool, unraveled felt, Acrilan pillow stuffing, coffee, and mold – enables him to blur the boundaries between uncontrollable organic processes and the controlled, civilized practices of agriculture and technology. By focusing on material manifestations of temporality, he probes the relations between symbolism and concrete appearances. Taken in its entirety, this project addresses the deceptive oscillation between reality and its countless simulations.