Open the door and enter a world of strange machines. They have been dormant, but a switch is all it takes to power them on and that's when the wonder starts.
Ely Tahan is an affirmed painter and photographer, however, his newest creations are startling evidence of a leap in his development as a maker of complex three dimensional objects which the artist himself terms self-performing. That is, self-performing objects designed to elicit intense emotional responses.
Startling offshoots of an accomplished iconography, the works showcased here are the products of an unexpected shift on behalf of the artist, a turn from the frontality of the image in painting, photography and digital media to the tangible object in 3-dimensional space.
Motivated by a desire to construct a self-performing artifact, a Corpus Generis endowed with a life of its own, they hearken to the mystery of the body in many respects. These are structures one walks around, formations that call for a diamond-cut visuality, a poly-focal assessment of a body’s embrace of space as its ultimate love affair.
This emphasis on embodiment comes with a sense of wonder, a path that invites us to follow the intrinsic logic of objects, behaving in ways that disclose many an unsuspected consonance.
A shift of scale concurs with the heterogeneity of these assembled conglomerates, which galvanized by electrical circuits, beget a parallel aspect, a no less material but animated double, replete with a symphony of highlights. Rather than entertaining the tired discourse of two-dimensional representation, they add another to their spatial three, a dimension that presents itself as an alternative appearance in time, in sequences of orchestrated visuals, motions and sounds.
Yet although an abrupt departure from earlier works, they come to remedy a crisis befalling the image, its concept-driven immateriality, its reality-producing redundancy, its role in the formation and maintenance of subjectivity.
As constructs whose appeal for autonomy deserve to be sponsored by a Tao of the Simulacrum and defended by an Object’s Bill of Rights, they endorse a better version of Frankenstein the monster, one in tune with its fate and immersed in a life full of grace.
Coming into contact with these works is like being a child again and rediscover wonder. They can sense your movements and respond to your presence but what's more amazing is that they project an autonomous presence themselves, a sense of existing outside their creator not just as representational or functional tools but especially as phenomena. Ely Tahan thinks of them as both noumena and phenomena, which describes the reach of their mystery.
A boundless amount of fun, unexpected details and thought-provoking associations make each of these works a brand new world to discover with your heart and mind.