Art theory, materials, meanings
“As we walk the city streets, attentively, we make our way slowly.
We let our eyes wander, absorbing the nooks and crannies of the urban landscape.
The atmosphere of the day, time and place,
the vibe of a downtown, or a peaceful neighborhood, the density of industrial zones.
We notice the cyclical nature of decay and renewal as an integral part of the living organism we call the city.
Finally, the eye lingers, catching sight of a particular detail, a wall or a texture that merits attention.
We’ve found our spot: a canvas in the wild.”
Art theory and artists statement:
Ten years ago we set out to find out whether a small and personal action becomes transparent in the urban turmoil or, contrarily, gets a new meaning within that context. The first time we worked in the public domain was a spontaneous act but it laid the foundation for what came next.
The seeds of our “active-wandering” practice were planted then.
Artistically speaking, it keeps us on our toes. It raises theoretical and technical questions that broaden the way and scope of thinking. We find ourselves looking for ways to translate the subjects and materials with which we work in the studio to a street context - facing the non-sterile, noisy, dense reality it presents. The solutions we find open our minds and augment our practices.
Over the years we evolve and so does MTH! Project, as we dive ever-deeper into the practice of the ‘artist as a wanderer’.
The wanderer as a concept was introduced by Walter Benjamin, who made his ‘la flaneur’ an emblematic archetype of the urban, modern experience.
It was later developed by social-scientist Michel de Certeau in his book "The practice of everyday life". In Certeau’s investigations into the “art of doing”, he describes a form of daily resistance in the very way we utilize the city streets. Our seemingly mundane actions such as standing, talking and walking can be done in different ways and with different intentions. He makes a distinction between being a “citizen-creator” as opposed to a “citizen-consumer”. Later on, Kevin Lynch (contemporary urban planner) coined the phrase ‘imageability’ as related to the pleasure and utility which city dwellers can extract from recognizing the patterns in their environment.
In this spirit, we strive to facilitate awareness and gratitude to life, for every "mundane" detail may be a source for inspiration or soul-searching.
Mind the Heart! Project is striding in the footsteps of giants who walked, drove, and created art in the open, while outlining a conceptual, ideological
and physical line. Artists such as Richard Long, whose repetitive walking in a field carved a line in a space, or Marina Abramovic and Ulay who drove a van across Europe, using the vehicle itself as a material for art making as well as a space for living. Inspired by them and by many others, MTH! is essentially a performative act – the art is in the act itself and in being actively conscious of the temporary yet eternal nature of it.
Materials and symbolism:
We chose hearts, scars, birds and words as the symbolic couriers for this project. These symbols outline the human connections created on this journey, as well as manifest the idea of hope, freedom, perseverance and togetherness.
We’re fascinated with many mediums and techniques, and have been creating pieces in many different contexts. Still, whether it’s a quick sketch on a wall or a meticulous-half-a-year-process to produce an installation, whether it's on the white clean background of a gallery or a noisy street corner, the issues, aesthetic language and perspectives are much the same. By utilizing the non-verbal power of communication that’s inherent in art, we can gently penetrate the external layer and generate a positive shift in perspectives. This project asks not only to reveal the highs of everyday life, but also its weaknesses, pain and anxieties, in order to find strength and heal.
In general, the works capture an idea that is at the core of every transformation: a progress through choice and action. They celebrate how life and inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places (ask any plant that grows from a crack in the pavement). They deal with what it means to be human and where this humanity of ours may be found. Through the works, we wish to point a light on the inevitable circle of existence – process, struggle, sustenance, comprehension and release – and embrace the entirety of our emotions as our most authentic expressions.
And so, the iconic red yarn heart encompasses a human essence: our emotions, dreams, beliefs, hopes realized or vaporized, all that motivates or inhibits us. True, it isn’t perfect. It’s crooked, tangled, with dripping ends, but it is the heart we all have: battle-worn, experienced, beating with life.
It dares us to open up, spreading a vibrant, red promise to put itself where it is needed.
The duct tape scars metaphorically "heal" the wounds of time, treating the city as a living organism of which we are all part
and acknowledging the wound in order to begin healing.
The Black Bird encompasses a duality: a tension between the pulling force of the ground and the endless promise of the open sky. It raises questions about identity, inhibitions and ambitions, but it does not stop before suggesting a possible solution. The bird and its ‘chain’ is made of the same, soft material. That which can unravel it, also grants it wings. The choice to soar will disentangle the tangle, providing all the thread necessary to fly high or far. Everything in our past - our origin, our history, our traumas and triumphs - all can be a weight that holds us back or a an engine that propels us forward.
The texts we use are ours, usually fragments or verses from longer writings.