Omri Harmelin’s work tackles familiar narratives and issues of visual culture, mass media, and politics. The main concern to the artist is the Visual Domain, in all its manifold functions and issues. Through the stimulation of both images and presences, which draw from both high and mass culture, he deals with the ambivalent qualities of modern myth and heroes (Mike Tyson, Pinocchio, the hara-kiri ceremony, etc.). It is through those narratives, those that belong to stars and heroes of the “hall of fame”, we measure ourselves. The moment when the viewer’s gaze, directed by inspecting “artistic content”, is a great moment of ambivalence.
Seems like everyone are extra creative during these strange times. An expected behavior to follow any type of crisis. Limitations on movement, space and interaction are being forced on us with no exceptions, resulting many creative responses. From businesses, places of work and people in general searching for creative solutions to keep their head above the water financially, to parents inventing new games and activities in order to entertain their kids while quarantine. I truly wonder how many things are being invented, re-purposed and discovered during these strange times. I’m sure if there was a meter measuring creativity right now it would show a new record for creativity carried out at a given time. We are all adding some level of creativeness in order to adapt to this new reality.
“Experts” of creativity like artists and scientists experiencing the same limitations applying to everyone... though the mindset of a problem and lack off.. is not a new territory. In fact, it is the starting point of almost every day. This mindset is part of the routine. Routine of chasing ideas, goals or feelings with more chances to fail then succeed pursuing them. To separate art from science It is customary to say that scientists searching for answers, results, outcome and logic while artists many times the exact opposite. Therefore I wouldn’t rely on artists expertise in creativity to bring our life back on course (if thar would ever happen), I would still bet my money on creativity manifested by scientists to do so. With that being said, until that moment of solution I would rely on art for everything else.
Omri Harmelin Tel-Aviv, Israel. April 23, 2020
A blacksmith transforms a doughboy WWI steel helmet into Chaplin’s bowler hat.
An actor performs a popular slapstick routine. The helmet might have changed it form, yet is still carrying war.