17 Days Video Series

Day 14 | Shahar Marcus
January 19, 2012, 12:04 am
Filed under: 17 Days (vol.5)

The video leap of faith starts with a shot of the artist wearing a suit, standing on the window’s edge, getting ready to make the leap of his life to the wide open space. The artist is hesitating, having difficulties in creating a momentum to jump, but eventually jumps. Surprisingly he freezes horizontally, while his feet touch the window’s edge – homage to the known work of Yves Klein “Artist jumps into the void (1959). When the shot opens up it appears that the window from which the artist was afraid to jump is just a few feet above ground. The camera stands still presenting a grotesque and surreal image of the artist hanging between heaven and earth.

The camera focuses on the artist’s point of view, who wants to break through from the inside to the outside. The artist is presented trying to jump out of the window, like Icarus who tried to climb up and reach the sun, when his ambition is to overcome gravity and his own fears with the help of willpower and courage. The artist chooses to do so in an exhibitionist way, through a huge window, that allows everyone around to see the struggle of the artist and watch his fears. By the leap through the window the artist eliminates the physical barrier as he breaks through. The surrealist position of the artist where his feet touch the sill and his body is suspended between heaven and earth merger the inside and outside.

In the video the artist chooses to use the window in an unusual way, in order to achieve his goal. The artist’s fear, arising from a possible failure, leads to hesitation in accomplishing his goal. The failure, however, is not so painful as the window is just a few feet away from the ground. The work criticizes two characteristics of the human nature. One is the fear form failure and social criticism that can paralyze and prevent breaching borders, while in many cases, like in the work, such fears are only in the person’s (the artist) eyes, as the fall is not so painful. The second is wining glory at any price, where like in the work – the act seems heroic, in the artist’s perception, while it seems grotesque in for the viewers.

Leap of Faith – TRT 3:03 mins.

Shahar Marcus (Israel 1971) is an interdisciplinary artist who works primarily in video, performance and sculpture. In his works he relates his body to organic and perishable materials, such as dough, bread, juice or ice. His relationship to the materials examines the position and the role of his body as both human and creator. His choice of perishables likewise highlights the nature of art and life

Marcus had exhibited in many exhibitions around the world including Tate modern in London, The Israel and the Tel Aviv museum in Israel, The Charlottenburg kunsthhalle in Copenhagen, The Moscow and Poznan Biennale and other venues in Germany France, Italy and Usa.

Shahar Marcus – Tel Aviv Israel



17 Comments so far
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really kind of an interesting movie, you know immediately because of the imagery that its a scene of suicide, you guess what happens next and expect a jump, but then time freezes and he’s almost stuck only feet from the street. a strange metaphor of frozen time. the cars hustling about audibly in the beginning arent present when he is frozen on the side of the ledge which is surreal. just the person riding by on the bike. i wish there was some more closure, like if he were to step down from the ledge it leaves the viewer wanting more.

Comment by nolan

The tension the artist has created here is fantastic. You can really see the unsureness in the gentleman’s face. Nice use of the distant traffics sounds and high winds to give the illusion of being high up in a building. I actually laughed when the man froze on the ledge, kind of like cheated death.

Comment by Brad

One thing that I take from this video is when you thrust yourself into a new environment you can become hesitant and feel out of place like you are taking a great plunge but in the end everything is normal and it isn’t that bad.

Comment by Jeremy

I love the concept of this video and the title. It’s always the questions in someone’s head of “How much do I believe in myself?” I wanna see more..you should consider making a part two!

Comment by Tushona

There is so much visual tension present in this video. The man creates such an interesting situation with his facial expression as well as his body movement. The leap itself left the viewer with a situation that leaves you wanting more.

Comment by Chris T.

Indecision is a big part of this video, and so is waiting. This is the perfect metaphor for life, as the artist is caught in between two things, which is something that happens to everyone at some point. I enjoy that he doesn’t fall or move at the end, because you leave thinking he is still there, and still in a state of limbo.

Comment by Olivia Kohler

So often individuals think they are doing something courageous or epic, and no one else in the world is paying any attention. People are absorbed in their own actions, making them appear to be of importance.

Comment by Claire

The buildup of tension in this video is palpable, and, I think, accurately mimics that tension everyone gets in their mind when trying to make a big decision or take a “leap of faith.” But I think that he points out something that is important not only for artists, but for everyone, by showing that there isn’t really anything to fear.

Comment by rosalee722

This video does an excellent job of presenting your concept. Many artists as well as others have a fear of moving forward, but this video shows us all that what we fear is nothing to fear at all.

Comment by ckmankey

Nice reveal with the two foot high jump. Regardless of how high he is jumping from, the people in the background don’t seem to acknowledge him. It just goes to show when people consider doing such a thing, how many people don’t really care about them or know who they were.

Comment by Chris Sopsich

So much tension throughout the entire video. Facial expressions are perfect. The buildup until the jump is very believable. Then after the jump is a perfect way to convey his message.

Comment by Leo

I love the concept of this video, and everyone can relate to it. We all need to make decisions in life, and the way you portrayed it in this video was wonderful because sometimes people are hesitant to do things, but once they do do it they still haven’t fully submitted themselves to the task and remain in the middle of decision making.

Comment by Megan D.

The artist is able to convey a lot of tension through both facial and body language, as well as the location. With all the the preparations he makes to jump, the audience expects the fall to be much further.

Comment by Rebecca

at first you the idea of suicide comes to your head with a guy looking worried and on a window sill. then like you expect him to jump by his body language then you just freeze with anticipation and unexpect the end.

Comment by nolan

I found this to be extremely humorous. the way you reveal his “Leap of Faith” is not as high as we’d expect it to be was just hilarious. The message behind it is also a very interesting one, and it adds to the humor of the the video as a whole.

Comment by Alvaro Enrique Hernandez Tomas

I like that besides the part where he leaps he is almost still for the whole video because it seems like it is slowing time down and makes me feel like I am actually there.

Comment by Lauren Giuliani

The camera angles used helped create tension and anxiety that he is higher up then he actually is. When he is frozen in the air it is as if he is frozen in time, with the person passing by on the bike it reminds me of how and event in someones life can go seemingly unnoticed by others.

Comment by Michelle Tabachki

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