Maya Tiberman born in 1980; Shai Hershkowitz born in 1973, both live and work in Israel
A Shell, 2012, video, 7:19 min.
At the heart of Maya Tiberman & Shai Hershkowitz’s work, there is a boy who transforms reality with the help of his imagination and inner world. A shell he has found on the beach functions as a magic tool. Using it enables him to change reality and materialize the figments of his imagination. It works like a cinematic machine that alters spatial proportions, produces transformations and creates a new reality. The boy uses his magic wand, the shell, the way it was used by the pioneers of early cinema and especially Méliès, who was a magician by trade. The interest of these filmmakers did not lie so much in the narrative, but rather in the cinematic image and the pure visual element of a cinema that was meant to create sensation and visual shock. Film historian and theorist Tom Gunning has labeled their films the “cinema of attractions.” These films focused on the cinematic medium’s inherent capabilities to distort reality, perform magic acts and make people and objects disappear by editing and using special effects. Tiberman and Hershkowitz are using contemporary digital animation, but they do it in a language that evokes early cinema practices. Through it they realize the child’s fantasies and link the experience of childhood to the primal cinematic experience.