Roee Rosen "Hilarious", video, 2010
Until July 3, 2011 – Museum of Ujazdowski Castle
Roee Rosen – painter, writer, filmmaker, winner of the 67th Orizzonti Venice Film Festival in 2010, enjoys his deserved reputation as the most intellectually provocative contemporary artist in Israel.
The art-world attention was drawn to Roee Rosen in 1997, when in his work Live and Die as Eva Braun he offered the viewer possibility to embody Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler – with all the political, ethical and erotic consequences of such a game. The installation was shown at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the key exhibition Mirroring Evil at the Jewish Museum in New York. In Warsaw, next to Eva Braun Rosen presents two other narratives that take place on the border between fiction and reality: Justine Frank and Confessions. In the first project Rosen creates a character (and oeuvre) of a fictitious interwar surrealist artist, a Belgian Jew named Justine Frank. In Confessions, the artist divulges a breakthrough in the history of perversion and pure evil”, a final confession, which Rosen presents through the voices of three illegal female immigrants working in Israel.
The fourth project showcased in Roee Rosen’s exhibition in Warsaw is his penultimate video Hilarious. Shot in the convention of a television stand-up comedy, Hilarious is an experiment in the field of too far-reaching jokes and tragic comedy.
The presentation is complemented by selections from the painting series Frosted Self Portraits, Martyr’s paintings and The Funeral Paintings inwhich we are invited to look and see from the dead artist’s point of view – Roee Rosen lying in his grave, the “dynamic dead.”
The intellectual provocation is Roee Rosen’s favored method of initiating a discussion, the artist takes a morally ambiguous position in the debate and proposes the most impossible points of view. Rosen’s artistic creation is a risky game, played with the viewer by an artist who presents himself as a notorious iconoclast, an enthusiast of transgressive gestures, ostentatiously (and not without perverse pleasure) breaking the rules of decency and political correctness. The key move in this game is manipulation with the concept of personality – role play, creating fictional characters and appropriation of someone else’s identity. The heroines and objects of these demonic operations are mostly women – female doubles, alter egos of the artist that become medium of a quasi-theatrical performance, but also the symbolic victims of possession.
The spectacle of Rosen’s art takes place at the crossroads of visual arts, literature and cinema, to meet the complex narratives between fiction and reality, in risky masquerades and provocative mystifications.