by Miriam Naeh
Hosted by Please Queue Here
In the Discovery Section of Photo London 2022, Please Queue Here is showing Miriam Naeh's installation 'Tired Beings', which investigates how the poetic and pathetic can coexist. Her work often stems from a moment that has occurred in real life that she then spins further by adding fictional elements and stories. Standing against a large-scale photograph that depicts an intimate, vulnerable scene, Miriam Naeh's sculptures of reconfigured every-day objects have migrated into a domestic sphere, in which they appear as organic growths and as strange invaders at the same time. 'Tired Beings' stages a power play between animals, objects, creatures, and humans. Visitors can step into the space of the installation, tracing who is looking at whom from different angles and corners, while not being able to escape from being observed themselves.
The scene in the photograph shows a nude man laying in front of two hamster cages, one of which has been opened. One of the hamsters has escaped, much to the delight of the cats who, shrunk down to a rodent size themselves, are lurking and waiting. The animals are accompanied by a Tradescantia plant or inch plant, a species of a fast growing creeping plant that does not need a root to expand. It is classified as an invasive species in the Galápagos Islands and South Africa. Aware of the plant also being known under the anti-Semitic term of "Wandering Jew", Miriam Naeh chooses to reclaim and reframe its controversial name by playing with notions of rooted- and unrootedness. The plant, originally brought into the domestic setting for decoration, now refuses to stay in its place and is making its way through all the nooks and crannies in the space.
Other reconfigured every-day objects intersect and simultaneously mark out the space. Large poles made out of fluorescent lights covered in Jesmonite and resin are carrying plunger heads that now look like vases. Wall hooks are supporting and holding objects, but also have become creatures with a life of their own. Hot water bottles no longer provide warmth for the human inhabitant of the space, but are nurturing the Tradescantia plant, having transformed into non-human allies in its quest for growth.
Coming from a background of photography and video, London-based artist Miriam Naeh now works with installations that often include photographic elements.
Miriam Naeh: “My work has evolved to become more sculptural, but I am really interested in image making and am looking at installation in the same way as I used to look at photography and video. One important aspect here is the control the different gazes can exercise and what power structures exist: who is looking at who and what effect do different scales have.”
Please Queue Here is a multidisciplinary curatorial platform supporting a new generation of artists. Through a nomadic exhibition model, PQH traces current discourses and artistic discussions in dialogue with the artists we work with. We are passionate about testing novel formats that stimulate knowledge transfer and require the constant probing and questioning of established methods.