Elad Kopler | Border Disorder

Elad Kopler exhibits at the Beeri Gallery, a large-scale triptych, painted in 2014, as part of a series showing apocalyptic landscapes, urban and industrial landscapes, sometimes fictional, undergoing dismantling processes. They are characterized by a multiplicity of changing perspectives in disintegrating environments. Creating a dissonance between seductive beauty and sights of neglect and disintegration. His painting embodies an actual deterioration in different levels of contemporary existence, in the artist’s inner world and in the worlds of his and our lives.

“His paintings show architectural fragments which sometimes look like pillars of a building whose construction was arrested, posts of a ramshackle sukkah, electric poles whose wires have been torn off, masts of a sailless boat, remnants of technological equipment for reception and transmission, idle devices for conducting energy and communication, abandoned pillars of the cultural tissue – sometimes there is a sense of an outer-galactic space, as seen in science fiction movies, or returning to Earth after it was abandoned following an ecological catastrophe. The painting reveals a landslide of shards, shrouded in a fall of tatters, embedded in ruined houses whose remains are scattered everywhere. The colorfulness and the beauty are just additional ways to catch the eye so as not to see everything falling apart and failing around you. Even the trees, dry, naked, anguished, now look more like sticks, like a broken reed the whole cultural enterprise relies upon. In the landscapes Kopler paints, there is no life but liveliness; he lacks light, but his face radiates. That’s precisely why they are also alluring. ”

This triptych, which occupies an entire wall in the gallery (5.5 m), is inspired by the demolished landscapes of Gaza during Tzuk Eitan (Operation Protective Edge. 2014 Gaza War.) It is presented as a solo work, illuminated with bright, sensual, colorful, and multi-detailed light, intense, simultaneously beautiful, and horrible. The viewers are magnetized to it; they envision it as a horrific and fantastic spectacle. Small drawings are next to it, a kind of preparatory drawings that deal with the same subject. Drawings of collapsing electrical columns, walls, streets, bird’s view maps, perspective lines, markings, and dots in lead pencils, colored pencils, and chalks.

The name of the exhibition ‘Border Disorder’ implies the concept of ‘border personality disorder,’ which is characterized by constant testing of boundaries. It is a pattern of reference to the world, steady and continuous since childhood, that doesn’t work too well in the existing reality, like a building, which generally appears to be built magnificently. Still, up close, you find that here, the door creaks and there, the floor isn’t stable, and a staircase leads nowhere. Kopler, who was orphaned from his mother at a young age, the son of a shell-shocked father, grew up with his grandparents in the slums of Ramat Gan. He is drawn to paint ruined, neglected environments following catastrophes, fires, natural disasters, and war damage. Kopler deals with the boundary between life and death, reality and imagination, the beautiful and the ugly, chaos and stability, events occurring at the border, here in the Gaza Strip, and the constant threat of missiles and war.

Ziva Jelin

More images from the exhibition