Interview with Adi Flumanby Telavivian | 04.01.18
Written by Emily Drew Miller
Adi Fluman’s works uncannily exist in the realm between images and sculpture. At first glance, they seem reminiscent of antique objects, but further inspection reveals that they are constructed of obscure materials.
Born in 1987 and currently living and working in Tel Aviv, Fluman attended Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, where she received her BFA in photography in 2013 and MFA in 2016. She explodes passionately when talking about her process, and she radiates so much love for the viewer. Fluman’s works depend on the viewer’s first encounter with the illusionary objects she makes, and how that perception unfolds: what is the material, what is the object, and how did this object come to life?
Hi Adi, will you tell us about your show at Dvir Gallery?
It’s called The Perfect Lamina. ‘Lamina’ refers to a thin sheet of organic material that serves as a protective coating of another layer of matter.
The show is a continuation of a piece (Soft Green) that I did for my MFA show. It completely changed the way I think about and approach my process of making. I began to perceive my works as sculptural objects rather than as images, as objects that challenge traditional discourse about how sculpture and images should be seen and discussed.
What are you trying to do in your work?
I want to recreate objects and leave them with just a little glimpse of reality. And sometimes to suggest the materiality of something that doesn’t exist as an object at all, like the smell of old fabric. My goal is to simulate a materiality whose identity cannot quite be grasped.
What kinds of references are you looking it? What inspires you?
I am striving for a tension between the existent and the nonexistent, antiquity versus modernity, the old and the new, so I look for images that play with that. Contradictory things.
What attracts you to antiquity?
Antiquity for me is something really romantic and it’s a contrast to my digital practice. Antiques leave the mark of time. They have stories. Sometimes I click with them and their stories, and sometimes it’s about the materiality.
What is your process like?
Sometimes I choose to digitally paint part of an object because I want to achieve something soft. Sometimes I digitally sculpt because I crave the surreal, and sometimes scanning because the object or step in the process necessitates hyperrealism. The goal is that when all the processes come together, the viewer does not know what they are looking at or what kind of material the object is. The combination of media I employ in each work is a layered mystery, and my skills come out differently.
The other component of my practice involves sculpture in materials such as wood and bronze. That’s why even though my works are produced partially digitally, viewing them on a screen does not communicate the real thing. I don’t think just reading about or looking at my work online is enough—you need to see it in order to experience the third dimension, to question the materiality, to really feel it. You need to be in front of the artwork.
The Perfect Lamina is on view at Dvir Gallery until January 27.
Dvir Gallery, Reshit Hochma Street 14, Tel Aviv, 03.604.3003. Opening Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11:00-18:00 and Friday- Saturday 10:00-13:00.
Photo credit Elad Sarig courtesy of Dvir Gallery and Adi Fluman.