To Change Air a Little, 2010, gouache animation on painting, 30 seconds, courtesy of the artist and Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv
Gideon Rubin was photographed walking in Hampstead Heath, London. Based on that photograph he created some 250 gouache paintings, and from the paintings-a short animated film which is projected on a painting of the snow-covered park. In the film he is seen from the back, slowly pacing through the park as if he were taking a leisurely stroll. The work is accompanied by the sound of strides. Very little happens, but while staring at the walking figure, one realizes that the work conceals the edges of big questions.
As a painter, Rubin strives to breathe life into the painting by means of the simple, basic act of walking. Is walking the content of the work, and painting-the medium representing it, or is the content of the work painting itself, with its limitations and capabilities, while walking is but the means chosen to illustrate it?
This question, which has no answer, calls forth the double status of the work in the museum. It underscores walking as an act of contemplation, but also as one of solitude, and painting-as a medium eliciting quandaries and melancholy, likewise associated with solitude. Precisely due to his being a painter, in the classical sense of the term, there is something moving in Rubin's attempt to animate the painting and set it in motion. Precisely due to his being a painter, in the classical sense, he is presented in an exhibition addressing line and walking, responding from afar, from the distance of one floor in the museum, to the medium within which he operates.
Born in Israel, 1973; lives and works in London