Ahava - Soap Balls

Uri Tzaig


Installation, 80 x 205 x 159 cm.
Materials: videotape VHS, table, monitor, soap balls, plastic tubes, cranse

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK6935_M167).

Tzaig’s installation Ahava Soap Balls consists of two elements: a washing table, the basin of which is shaped to mirror the contours of the Dead Sea, and in which the visitor can wash his or her hands; and a small video monitor depicting the hirsute torso of a man washing himself with the ahava balls referred to in the title of the work. Ahava is the name of a well-known cosmetic product rich in minerals that are unique to the Dead Sea’s singular ecology; the act of washing is in itself of course steeped in memories of both ritual and Biblical mythology, and the cultural obsession with cleanliness a defining feature of our fantasies of ‘Orientalism’ – represented here by the quintessential middle-eastern man (Arab? Jewish?), whose face we never get to see.

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