Interviews

Meet the artist Nir Alon, Installation Artist

Nir Alon in a nutshell?

I have a German citizenship, though I am formerly an Israeli. I studied Art at the Bezalel Academy of art and design in Jerusalem (graduated in 1992). I am an installation artis – using found objects, furniture and light bulbs – and creating room size installations, site specific works.

Your artistic singularity: what are the major themes you pursue in your work?

I have no theoretical subjects or any topics.I am dealling with my life, my personal situation and my thoughts about the way I see myself and mysurrounding.Of course, as a result of it I amtouchingsocial and political topics, have and creating references to thesociety I am living in.My point of view though is always my personal one – combining what I think or feel, what I find as objects to use, what is happening around me and the place I am going to present the installation.It is important to know that I am working on an installation as long as I have a place to present it – as it is a sitespecificwork. If I do not have a planed exhibition – I just collect ideas and thoughts in sketch books, in my online studio (a blog in which I collect images:http://notes.nir-alon.com) and in photos taking with my mobile phone – all side by side to texts and written information that I collect as a reference to my thoughts).
I do not keeping a studio and I am notmaintaining a regular studio work – as it is not helping me to prepare an installation in a place that is not the specific site.Therefore my works have a large amount of improvisation during installing them. The plans are based on my life experienceand wishes – the reality facing all the time the physical andaestheticdecisionsthat need to be made on the spot. That means that I don’t even know exactly how the work will be at the end, how it will stand and the full rang of its impacts.

Nir Alon, Life Does You Only Good, 2007, installation view, Neumünster, Hamburg, Germany

Life Does You Only Good, 2007. © Nir Alon, VG Bild Kunst. Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv.

Your encounter with art: how did you first get interested in your medium, and what draws you to it?

I do not keeping a studio and I am notmaintaining a regular studio work – as it is not helping me to prepare an installation in a place that is not the specific site.Therefore my works have a large amount of improvisation during installing them. The plans are based on my life experienceand wishes – the reality facing all the time the physical andaestheticdecisionsthat need to be made on the spot. That means that I don’t even know exactly how the work will be at the end, how it will stand and the full rang of its impacts. I started studying art as I found no other area of occupation that were interesting enough form me.I knew that I amtalented (like every other young person who can draw and paint…) but I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.I alsounderstood that art gave me a way to express my feelings better then words – it was more simple (and still is it for me) then talking about something or with somebody.Then I realised that drawings and paintings are easy for my. So easy that I missed the physical part of reality.
Therefore I was drawn to use objects, those that have some history andpatina (layers of things that they carry with them) on them.Furniture are also objects that have animmediatereferenceto the human body (they are made for our body) so they refer to us and everything that happened to them, the way there are presented, their position and posture areinfluencingon the viewers (You can feel the need to sit when you see a chair. You can feel the problem of body balance when you see a closed standing on one chair legetc…).
I use light as we need light to illuminate the works. I am justimplementingthe light into my works – and use it as an element thatcreates another perspective (deep light and deep shadows, illumination the space of the installation and creating different areas with the shadows etc).

Nir Alon, The principle of population, 2016, St. Katharinen Church, Hamburg Germany
The principle of population, 2016. © Nir Alon, VG Bild Kunst. Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv.

Which techniques do you use?

I physically balance the objects and materials in a room – using the physical,heavinessand balance of the objects in the room.I use the room with all its parts – also the empty spaces between the objects -and I am taking in consideration theexistenceof the viewers/visitors in the installation – their movements in it, the way they will see it/touchit/ be inside it.I do no more than positioning, balancing and setting. The interaction with the viewers/visitors (and what they see/how they feel) does therest.

Nir Alon, Some steps before you join us, 2017,Installation, mixed media 430x320x45 cm
Some steps before you join us, 2017. © Nir Alon, VG Bild Kunst. Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv.

An artist who particularly inspires you?

I was always inspired by Joseph Beuys, Vito Acconci, Jannis Kounellis, Dieter Roth, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke, Hans Haacke (Europeans) as well asRobert Rauschenberg, Dan Graham and Dennis Oppenheim.Furthermore – in the world of art I can always find new artists that are inspiring me- even very young ones.
More about Nir Alon: www.nir-alon.com

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