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6 Artists  6 Projects
Dana Levy, Literature of Storms, 2014

February 11, 2015-August 22, 2015

Location: Nathan Cummings Building for Modern and Contemporary Art

Artist: Dana Levy

Curator: Noam Gal

Israeli-born video artist Dana Levy questions the tendency to distinguish between natural and human history, to disconnect environmental concern from political realities. After experiencing the effects of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and becoming all the more convinced that politics, history, human surroundings, and natural environment cannot be separated, she created the video installation Literature of Storms. Levy found photographs of modernist rooms and their furnishings in  interior design magazines from the 1920s - images that reminded her of what was once an Israeli aesthetic ideal - and animated them with winds, downpours, and swarms of insects. The rooms' coldly elegant modernism represents not only the Western material ambitions that Zionism began to embrace in the mid-20th century but also the empty promises and myopic vision of an industrialized world that has decimated the planet's resources.

Everglades is a project Levy began while a resident artist in Florida's Everglades National Park. The unique natural environment of the Everglades has been devastated by decades of wetlands drainage for purposes of industrial and residential development, and today it is threatened by fracking and deep water drilling. At the same time, efforts have been made to restore some of the original ecosystems through a process of re-flooding, not unlike the restoration of Lake Hula in the north of Israel. Levy penetrated this humid, insect-filled undergrowth at night, projected phosphorescent color effects, and added other digital image-sampling to create a hard-to-decipher, abstract scene. Her soundtrack contains noises - both animal and industrial - from the actual site, together with audio effects derived from the internet. The result is a nature film gone wild, a bleak spectacle that challenges definitions of natural surroundings and perceptions of the viewer's place in them.

Levy's work is both ramified and momentous, addressing environments of many kinds and filled with stories in which human behavior has played a decisive role. She proposes that storms have "literature" that we should reread in order to reconsider the story of our place and the meaning of nature in it.

Everglades
, 2014
Collection of the artist and Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv