Via Dolorosa, 1973, performance in the streets of Jerusalem, b/w photograph, courtesy of the artist
Motti Mizrachi's work Via Dolorosa (1973) is an act documented in a series of photographs, and was performed in the alleyways of Jerusalem's Old City. In the course of this act, Mizrachi carried upon his back a large picture of his own face, as a paraphrase on the Stations of the Cross. Carrying the picture as if it were a cross expresses the dimension of suffering, which is amplified due to Mizrachi's physical impairment and the sight of his crutches. At the same time, Mizrachi presents the myth of the suffering victim in an ironic and ridiculous light, devoid of sacred associations. Form a visual point of view, this ironic twist is expressed in terms of the proportions between the artist's large head and the tiny legs that carry it.
In the performance Dough (1973), which was acted out and photographed in the art department of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Mizrachi entertains sexual relations with an anonymous young woman while the two of them are immersed in dough. The pornographic premise of this scene is transformed by the immersion in the sticky substance, which becomes an extension of the body and thus surrounds and obscures what is taking place. To this one may add Mizrachi's persona and his physical impairment - elements that inevitably partake of the viewer's voyeuristic experience.
In the video work Healing (1980), Mizrachi fused together numerous layered images, which have a clear ritual dimension and in which the naked body is exposed. Some of the striking elements of this video are the employment of actions and materials such as covering the body with sand or paint; the presence of the female nude; and images of outstretched hands - elements which in part became symbols in a private mythology. Mizrachi has revealed that for him video is a means of creating a continuum of images or of fragmenting them in an unexpected manner; in this manner, he says, the medium allows for an intensive experience, and even functions as a condensed scream that has a therapeutic dimension.
Born in Tel Aviv, 1946; lives and works in Tel Aviv