Horizontal Standing

Hilla Ben Ari &

Hardly moving, a woman is poised on a balance beam. The silence underscores her concentration. Horizontal and vertical lines structure the image. The woman fits into this grid pattern, but the balancing act must cost her a great deal of strength.

As a title, Horizontal Standing reflects a meeting of opposites. On one side are mutilation, shame, and suffering, and on the other grace, discipline, and elegance. Hilla Ben Ari raises a variety of questions. Is it about being handicapped in general or about Israeli war wounds in particular? Is she perhaps comparing the political situation in her homeland to the notion of 'horizontal standing'? Can the theme be generally applied to women in modern societies, who are constantly under pressure to compensate for their supposed physical deficiencies?

Possibly, Ben Ari is also interested in the viewer's reaction. This is not visible in the image. Nonetheless, the 'standing' viewer is the imaginary 'vertical' component of the 'horizontal' gymnast. And in a metaphorical sense, positive or negative reactions to the event are, in essence, of significance to society, the individual, and politics. (Anna Flammersfeld-Batouei)

*We can only show an excerpt of this work in the online archive. For the complete version, please contact the artist.

About the video

Title Horizontal Standing
Year 2008
Videonale VIDEONALE.12
Length 00:10:00
Format 4:3
Country Israel,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, no sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Hilla Ben Ari
  • 1972 in Yagur, ISR.
    Studied at the Tel Aviv University, ISR, at the Kalisher College, Tel Aviv, ISR, and at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, ISR

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