Jordan Wolfson | The Second Strike

Curator: Ori Dessau
Oct. 10, 2011 - Dec. 24, 2011

Animation (Masks), 3D, sound (loop)

“Animation (Masks)” is an animated film at the center of which stands the figure of Shylock, an ultra-Orthodox Jew. The narration accompanying his appearance changes voice at intervals, pointing to the changes of identity to which he’s subject. The different voices all recite a poem by Richard Brautigan. This work and others by Wolfson propose a concept of unstable identity, identity as mask, and according to Wolfson it is a concept that the Shylock character embodies to the utmost. The instability that drives his works not only is given expression by the content, but also derives from the crossbreeding, conversions and internal connections that take place in many of them, e.g., between photographed and painted image (Con Leche, 2009), or between digital and analog image (Untitled False Document, 2008). These multiply the viewpoints from which we experience the modes of signification in Wolfson’s work.
Unlike Woody Allen’s “Zelig” (1983), which masqueraded as a documentary, this movie, simply by virtue of being animated, proclaims its fictitiousness; also unlike the former, it is concerned not with the Jew’s assimilation into his surroundings, but rather with the denial of exactly that: no part of the crowd is Woflson’s Shylock, but a stranger and insistent upon his otherness.

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