Yael Kanarek’s creative practice centers on the fundamental hypothesis that language and numerals render reality, and that this reality is an entirely subjective singular field.
She looks at how language and numbers operate an emotional landscape by shuffling their physical properties: material, shape, and sound. Employing modes of authorship (storytelling, computer code, and multiple languages), Kanarek’s works touch the philosophical boundaries of the political and spiritual; artistic and scientific; private and universal, horizontal and vertical. Minimalist and formal abstractions of subject matter feature in Kanarek’s work, yet the content is typically emotional and passionate.
Kanarek draws from the multilingual landscape of her childhood in Israel, where narrative (both ancient and modern) plays a dramatic role in defining people’s lives. Ambiguous and contradictory narratives spur heat between people and bond them together. Crossing these sensibilities with her observation of the Internet as a network made of natural and computer languages, her most recent projects, the internet art work Object of Desire and the series Textworks, engage multiple languages to highlight connection and rejection.
Kanarek’s interest in the subject of time prompted her to design software that synchs video and audio with the computer clock. She has been integrating her interest in formalist aesthetic with the chaos of daily life into a growing body of these computational videos.
Yael Kanarek, Rainbow, Toward a New Balance (Made in the USA), Shoes worn by the artist, wood, silicone words in nine languages: Amharic, Arabic, English, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, Russian, Other: diameter 42 inches (106.7 cm), depth 2 in. ( 5.1 cm), Courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery, New York, New York