“Yuval Avital. E T E R E” curated by Annette Hofmann
Starting Thursday April 8th, 2021 BUILDING presents E T E R E, a solo show by artist and composer Yuval Avital, curated by Annette Hofmann. E T E R E is an exhibition project specifically designed for the four floors of BUILDING that gathers more than a hundred works, many of them presented for the first time. It is a dream-like narrative divided into four sections, in which each space becomes a microcosm that encloses and reflects a defined environment, connected to the others by an upward path.
As curator Annette Hofmann says: “Yuval Avital’s first solo exhibition in BUILDING invites the visitor on a journey through the artist’s multidisciplinary narrative. At the heart of Yuval Avital’s practice lies the present moment, in the absolute sense, centred on an exploration of the concepts of identity/subconscious, darkness/light and love/desire. Each work reflects the formal and material qualities of a common consciousness and experience, which give rise to a magic circle not only within the unique architecture of BUILDING, but also within its own narrative. All of the works describe an urgent search for truth that leads the visitor to confront his/her own present moment”.
Yuval Avital is known for his large installations, and for creating complex multimedia works that challenge the traditional categories that separate the arts. Also adopting practices of participatory art, his modus operandi spans painting, sculpture, performance, video and photography, often in a dialogue and blend with sound.
E T E R E, like all of Avital’s large-scale works, forms an immersive, all-encompassing environment in which different expressive languages and tools converge, ranging from the most traditional techniques to the most innovative and interdisciplinary ones, such as the works the artist calls “icon-sonic”, which have been part of his production since the very beginning.
Avital’s show opens with the story The Heart and the Spring from The Seven Beggars by Rabbi Nachman of Breslav  of which E T E R E is a metaphorical, dynamic, sensorial transposition, unfolding through the exhibition. In Rabbi Nachman’s story, the world has a Heart that burns with desire for the Spring of water that lies at the other end of creation. The Spring also longs for the Heart, but they are far apart in time and space, with no hope of reaching one another or ceasing to yearn for one another. But before the day ends and the spring dries up and, consequently, the Heart dies of its pain, bringing the world to an end too, the Just Man gives the Heart a new day, and the Heart gives the day to the Spring, meaning they can be reborn together.
Like the Heart of the World in the fable, in the artist’s vision Man is by nature an incomplete being, constantly accompanied by a feeling of lack which drives him to seek his missing parts in the physical, psychic and metaphysical spheres. Along his path, he encounters Angels and Demons, and experiences Love, Grief and Nostalgia, aspiring to the Transcendental and the Utopian Plane. The unbridgeable void between Man and Things is the vector of this journey, and the essence of E T E R E.
“For me, experiencing the Ether means trying to be completely inside Things” – explains Yuval Avital – “not observing them from the outside or conceptualizing them, but being immersed in them. This modus operandi reflects my ideas of the totality of art (also in the Wagnerian sense) as an inclusive rite, but above all relates to what I try to do in my work, namely to reveal at least in part the truths hidden in Things.
This idea is perhaps the main theme of my entire oeuvre in all its manifestations. It calls for me to listen deeply, and enter into a state of absolute openness and vulnerability: the artistic medium is not only a medium but also a sensor, a membrane, a lure. The exhibition E T E R E, which brings together many years of this work, features many pieces being exhibited for the first time, and some created specifically for the occasion, thus offering the visitor not only an aesthetic overview but above all an experiential journey“.
Yuval Avital (Jerusalem, 1977) lives and works in Milan.
Multimedia artist and composer, Avital’s oeuvre spans painting, sculpture and performance art, in dialogue with sound, the cornerstone of his work.
He is known for his “icon-sonic” pieces, performances that are “total” in nature – in the Wagnerian sense of the term – characterized by the close coexistence of scores, electronic and electroacoustic music, and visual and performative elements, and involving performers of different kinds, from classical musicians to players of ancient traditional instruments, and even groups of non-musicians, thus venturing into the field of participatory art. Each of his works reveals a precise identity, becoming an experiential, poetic and emotional microcosm that is the result of meticulous research, creating contemporary rituals with a carefully coded language that challenges the traditional categories that separate the arts.
His most important projects include: Human Signs, virtual project, 2020; Meditations on Daniel Libeskind’s “Theatrum Mundi”, London Design Festival, London, 2020; Il Giardino dei Sonagli, Mulinum San Floro, Calabria, 2019; URLA, a geographical score presented for Matera Capital of Culture 2019; ICON-SONIC POSTCARDS n.2 – Postcards from Rome, MACRO Asilo, Rome, 2018-2019; Giobbe, Baths of Diocletian, Rome, 2018; Open Fence, the largest sound sculpture ever made in Italy, EastEndStudios, Milan, 2017; Fuga Perpetua, in collaboration with the United Nations (UNHCR), Teatro Comunale “L. Pavarotti”, Modena, 2016, NEAT Festival Nottingham, 2016, Tel Aviv Museum, 2017 and Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen, 2019; Requiem Monumentale, Monumental Cemetery of Milan, 2017; Alma Mater, the largest sound installation ever staged in Italy, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, 2015; Garon, the final event for the installation Dirty Corner by Anish Kapoor, Milan, 2012; Space Unfolded, in collaboration with scientists from NASA and ESA, Bergamo Scienza, 2012.
He has exhibited in museums and institutions in Italy and abroad including: GAM Galleria di Arte Moderna, Torino, 2020; Manifesta 13 – the group exhibition Real Utopias, Marseille, 2020; Marino Marini Museum, Florence, 2019; Biennale Ostrale – opening event, Dresden, 2019; Saint Antoine Church, Istanbul, 2019; Centre des Arts, Geneva, 2019; MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art Rome, Rome, 2018-2019; Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology, Milan, 2017; Fabbrica del Cioccolato Foundation, Switzerland, 2017; Triennale Milano, Milan, 2016; Cittadellarte – Pistoletto Foundation, Biella, 2015; Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, 2015; Pomodoro Foundation, Milan, 2010.
 Ukrainian theologian and rabbi (1772, Medžybiž, Ukraine – 1811, Uman, Ukraine) founder of the Hasidic tradition of Breslav and the rabbinical dynasty of the same name.