Final show at MFA Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (2022)
Curated by Dor Guez and Hadas Maor
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
Nexus is the result of Elena’s two years research on the microbiome, the collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses that naturally live inside an organism (such as a Homo Sapiens) and are responsible for fundamental processes such as digestion and immunity, literally making us ‘walking symbiotic ecosystems’, rather than individuals. Through an installation comprised by several videos whose parts continually loop and gradually recombine out of the artist’s control - just like DNA segments in the process of evolution - Elena’s voice investigates the notion of life and its microcosm, turning the room into a small universe and creating an artwork-organism that adheres (also thanks to its audience) to the metabolic and reproductive criteria of life itself.
No two visitors see the exact same room, as the images are always creating new combinations.
This work is dedicated to my dear mother
Smaranda Loreta Alexandrescu, z”l
who was suddenly diagnosed with IV stage pancreatic cancer at the end of my first year of MFA studies at Bezalel’s Academy. She passed away seven months later, on February 17, 2022.
Cancer can rarely be attributed to a single cause. However, after ruling out genetic and other predisposing factors, doctors have hypothesized her disease might have been initiated by prolonged, misdiagnosed and untreated dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is a state occurring when the healthy balance in the communities of microorganisms inhabiting a body (microbiome) is severely disrupted, causing changes in their functional composition, metabolic activity, or local distribution.
Unknown till recently, the microbiome represents a new frontier in medical research.
Sequence 1 (06:25, loop) | Sequence 3 (06:39, loop) | Sequence 2 (06:54, loop)
Music track (08:58, loop)
Content: found footage, archival footage (courtesy of the University of Massachusetts and PDR), footage by Elena Ceretti Stein, by Alexander Benedik (Global Dive Media), by Eli Noyes Jr. (Harvard University), footage from Eli Noyes, footage from ‘Symbiotic Earth’, directed by J. Feldman (courtesy of Hummingbird Films), footage from the ‘Baron Munchausen's Dream’ by G. Melies, footage by luchschen/piola666/KatsiarynaShautsova/lavoview/LuckyTD/
DOP of studio scenes: Ilya Marcus
Editing by Elena Ceretti Stein
Words by Elena Ceretti Stein, freely inspired by and quoting Lynn Margulis, Alfred North Whitehead, James Lovelock, Kahlil Gibran, John Feldman, Pamela Lyon, Anne Katharina Zschoke, Stephan Harding, Margaret McFall-Ngai, Elizabeth Kolbert, Daniel E. Koshland, Robert Sapolsky, NASA's official website.
Voice by Ilya Marcus and Elena Ceretti Stein
Music by Yehezkel Raz, Elena Ceretti Stein and Wolgang Amadeus Mozart
Sound Design by Yehezkel Raz
Color-grading by Blacklight Studio
Pictures: Daniel Hanoch
Special thanks to
Ilya Marcus, Michal Helfman, Dor Guez, Hadas Maor, Barak Rubin, Tamar Eres, Anton Graznov, Edoardo Ceretti, Yael Moshe, Vanina Saracino, Sarah Goodridge, Lightbox Studio, Pro-AV, Stanford University, Frontiers in Microbiology and Current Biology Review.