In her work, Israeli-born artist Hadar Mitz dwells with great sensitivity, without pretention or lyricism, on grasping the ungraspable. Hadar’s interest in the evanescence and inconstancy of the life-giving nature that surrounds us is expressed in a multidisciplinary practice in which she creates parallels between the incessant movement of the world and that, subtler and more latent, of our own existence. Her aesthetic, infused with mythological narratives, poetry, and folklore, thus summons allegorical figures of animals and elements drawn from fauna and flora to imagine worlds reinvested with beauty and compassion beyond the consumerist and extractivist frameworks that too often characterize our relationship with the environment.
Using her position as an artist perpetually travelling around the world – residencies, exhibitions, conferences, courses, and so on – as a premise during her stay at Est-Nord-Est, Hadar explored the notion of cycle and the related concepts of movement and rhythm. A wooden house frame, both immense and simple, onto which white sheets had been stretched formed the centrepiece of an improvised exhibition in her studio. Projected on the structure, which now served as a screen, was a looped video showing black-and-white pictures of a flock of birds that she had taken on the shore of the St. Lawrence River. Their melancholy squawks filled the studio, lending a bucolic and eerie ambience to what might be a hunter’s cabin or a cabinet of curiosities. Around and inside the structure were other motifs inhabiting the space with a ghostly, divided presence – the dog Cerberus, bats, and a sun-star – decomposing at different paces and in stagings reminiscent of chronophotography or a diorama in a natural history museum. Frozen in time by Hadar’s hand, these bits of nature allow themselves to be comprehended furtively, reminding us through their feigned stasis that it is impossible to keep them from continually migrating toward other states, other futures.
It is these tensions between movement and inertia, life and death, nature and culture, that both feeds and is fed by Hadar’s thoughts and artworks. Herself a nomadic subject, Hadar mobilizes our attention to bring to light, for a moment, the place we occupy in a world in the midst of constant change.