Background Only, 2014
Paper monument, H-3.5m, W-4m, L-8m and 2 video-works
Background Only is a 4x8x3.5 sq. meters photo-shoot paper set, that imitated an interior of a real-size swimming-pool with two video works “laid at its bottom”. The work inhabited two contradictory qualities – the size and the overall effect of an elaborate monument, as oppose to its functionality, simple materiality and “emptiness”. The huge paper sheets hanged from the ceiling were covered by approximately 5,000 hand-made tiles that prompted the surface a captivating sheen. Each tile was a 5x5 centimeters transparent foil Katz painted with glass-colors and glued by hand. From up close the uniqueness of every single tile was revealed. Simultaneously performing a toiling Sisyphean artistic practice and inviting people to step onto the piece in order to take pictures and watch the videos, and consequently eroding it, manifested Background Only as a statue and a living site marking human activity.
Two television screens were laid on the installation’s floor and screened two video works. One of the videos presented a short scene of a couple hanging in a real private swimming-pool, while the woman is constantly referring the photographer and asking to be filmed. The other video presented Katz using pieces of the installation for several improvised indie-modeling photo sessions, occurring around the desert, at a studio and at her house. The beautiful paper sheets that used as a background were dragged from location to location, treated roughly and eventually got literally stabbed and completely ripped.The sight of visitors taking pictures at famous monuments and canonical art-works has been around for decades, but nowadays the smartphones’ camera availability turned every colorful well-lighted art-work to a potential Instagram hit or a selfie accessory. Thomas Moor’s ***** (Five stars) photography project deals beautifully with the subject, and although Background Only refers that same phenomena conceptually, it also asks to sustain human interaction within it. The fact people are invited to step onto the work, touch it, tarry or have a conversation in it, underline the fact that this work is first of all locations for human activity and interaction.