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Smile, Happy Bird / Nouli Omer

In Nouli Omer's new exhibition, spectacular and funny bird figures emerge - flying, dancing or walking - each of them beautiful and fancy in her own way and bares different colors. Through the images of the birds that contain Omer's ceramic and plastic plates, an old and protracted tension emerges - between nature and culture - and within it is a question of freedom and its potential for realization. The encounter between the image of the free and liberated bird, whose ability to glide is reserved, often clashes with Omer's birds trapped in a gold cage or, if desired, in a plate that itself is well framed with gray or black or gold outlines.
Although the bird can deploy its spectacular peacock wings and fill almost the space allotted to it, in another work the destructive potential of spreading the wings beyond the limits of the possibility is apparent, to other spaces; The wings of the bird that were deviated are made of fragments of a plate that indicate that the end of the irregularity will break and withdraw or be trapped in another frame. And in those wings of fragments one more bird is revealed; a reminder of the illusion of a shattered liberty, a warning against the realization of the desire to glide beyond material conditions. The tension between the liberated bird's mind and the concrete substrate that has been allotted to it and restricts it, intensifies an additional image of thin heel shoes; It is they who, in restricting the bird, by restricting its freedom of movement, stand in complete contrast to its inherent, natural ease.
Another dimension that emerges from Omer's works is revealed in the use of a large blue eye motif embedded in the shape of the bird. This eye, which is a photograph and enlargement of the artist's own eye, gives the bird its "all knowing" aspects, suggesting that it knows all and that it can sail on the wings of imagination. Does knowledge play a key to freedom that seems to have been stolen from the bird-woman-mother? Or is the knowledge not only of the bird itself? Perhaps the answer lies precisely between the poles - between the natural and the culturally structured; and the survival function of procreation and the task of social mothering; poles that Omer mixes and thus allows them to appear not in a hierarchical and binary manner, but as intertwined in an indissoluble manner.

Curator: Vera Pilpoul
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