Untitled (Gas Loop)

Ariel Schlesinger

30 May 2011

Butane gas cylinder, tube and burner

Ariel Schlesinger (Jerusalem, 1980) creates works in which his chosen materials (cheap, everyday items acquired in hardware stores and construction warehouses) are in strong contrast to the resulting artwork, in which he plays with tricks and surprise. Schlesinger’s works contain a poetry verging on sabotage that becomes a more dangerous game when he experiments with gas and fire. Disaster is a seldomexplored source of beauty, right on the razor’s edge. Schlesinger pursues and captures this paradigm on hazardous ground.
There is a theory that says science was born out of magic, and while this may or may not be true, the two certainly have much in common. They both try to explain things that are beyond our understanding, by attempting to rationalise baffling phenomena. And magic becomes science in the hands of artists like Schlesinger, who manipulates gas cylinders, provoking our amazement and perverse curiosity. Boltzmann, the father of statistical physics, rightly declared: “Imagination is the cradle of theory; the spirit of observation, its tutor”, and while this sentence could be applied to several artists participating in this exhibition, in Schlesinger’s case it fits like a glove, because the rational application of imagination is the source of the magical aspect of his works, of the moment of discovery, and of how it can be presented in a more interesting way, in the form of a visual poem.
In Untitled (Gas Loop), Schlesinger uses a classic Spanish butane gas cylinder to create a new work that seems to be telling us that we could do this at home, but it’s wiser not to try it.