Honor Fraser is pleased to present Shiri Mordechay’s first project at the gallery, an installation entitled Pneuma Pleats. Both the title and the work have multiple readings. Pneuma comes from the ancient Greek word for “breath” while pleats references the femininity and subtle layered quality of the work. Together the words conjure the accordion pleats of fireplace bellows or hospital ventilators; both devices used to force air into oxygen hungry cavities. Pneuma Pleats has similarly expansive and invigorating properties.
Mordechay’s mixed media installation encroaches nearly every surface of the project space with delicate paper sculptures suspended in intricate wire structures. The work climbs up walls and ceilings, around corners and down onto the floor space. Her sprawling worlds are heavily informed by her own subconscious, and draw from bizarre compilations of fragmented body parts, animals, and insects to create a sort of sexually chaotic and delusional nightmare. Jerry Saltz wrote, in his review of Mordechay’s 2008 exhibition at Plane Space, New York, “Shiri Mordechay gives us a topsy-turvy world of mundane and mad images…It’s Charles Adams meets Edgar Allen Poe meets Animal Planet. Mordechay never allows us to look at any one thing; chaos and tumult reign.”
Born in Israel and raised in Nigeria, Mordechay now resides in New York. She recently received her B.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. She also studied fine arts at the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv. In addition to a number of group exhibitions in California, Mordechay was included in the “Carpetbag + Cozyspace” exhibition curated by Kristin Calabrese in Brooklyn this past spring.