“Excuse me, but where is your imagination?” (Michal Helfman)
The work of Manu Luksch is situated in the present, reacting to it, decoding it
as a mode of bringing back control into our lives after being systematically deprived of our liberty.
Going through some of her works, I found “Faceless”, “Contagious Whisper”, and “The Orchestra of Anxiety” to provide me with something more engaging then the others. Trying to trace what was the reason for this, I was reminded
of an Israeli art podcast hosted by Arnon Ben-Dror and Ido Gordon- “Things in the World”, where they hosted artist Michal Helfman for an in-depth conversation about her current exhibition. In the podcast,
the idea of art’s conventions, traditions, DNA and perspective on reality were discussed, particularly drawing on the idea of arts use of ready-made (either concrete or abstract). Throughout the years, says Helfman,
the art world has been embracing into itself a variety of disciplines that are now already quite indulged by the ability to be perceived as art and being presented in art’s spaces. Yet there is a very big difference between hosting literally everything: science, architecture, politics etc., and the experience itself or the way of thinking about the artistic practice/object/
exhibition. The key to distinguish these other modes of communication/presentation from art could be somewhat narrowed down to the relationship between reality and imagination/fiction. Although
the conceptual base may be very well existent in world that incorporate and/or draw on other disciplines, it sometimes lacks imagination, narrative, the leap of faith that is so inherent to the tradition of art, so powerfully effective. In other words, it is the completion of the process of art being
brought into life, until there is no art left. To this I will add another anecdote of my own, saying that if you can write about a phenomenon
in a way that will achieve the same goal as the artistic experience (excluding of course literature for example), then there is a major ingredient missing/ignored in your creation. Going back to Luksch, the 3 projects I have mentioned earlier that caught my eye seemed to have this imaginary creative ingredient embedded in them, so that It didn’t just feel like a visual representation of a political issue forcing itself to become “art”. In a way, this is also a privilege that is unique to the art world- its ability to pause recognition, to create a suspension of disbelief so that new information could be communicated through the senses and trigger our receptors as spectators/participants.