Yuli Serfaty

1 - 30 June 2021

GAZELL.iO welcomes Yuli Serfaty as our June artist in residency. 

Yuli Serfaty (1992, Israel) is a new-media London artist contextualising landscape to politics through digital and physical worlding. She uses fictional, experienced, and documented elements to narrate semi-realistic, research-based worlds in which landscape and subject boundaries are merged, reversed, or interwoven. Her work is inherently immersive and often includes sonic, digital, and physical elements. Her world actors specifically comprise field recordings, synthesised sounds, video, photography, writing, CGI, game engines and found objects. She often refers to this entanglement of media as the entanglement of living beings in any other ecosystem.

 

Storytelling is paramount in Serfaty’s work. From ancient mythology to contemporary politics, stories shape how we see our worlds; by telling other stories, Serfaty suggests both criticism of natural landscapes and imagining other hierarchies. She speculates stories told by the landscapes themselves, where the ‘Man’, in its Western sense, is nothing but an onlooker. Serfaty’s practice is concerned with making space for alternative power structures in which the marginalised, the unimportant and the overlooked take the central stage. 

 

At the core of Serfaty’s practice is exposing the power dynamics between landscape and politics by exploring an intrinsically political landscape. Considering her colonial Israeli heritage and as an immigrant living in the UK, her approach to making integrates local and global-imperial perspectives. She often chooses specific sites for her work and discusses site-specific stories while referring to broader global issues, a recent example being Israeli political systems affecting the Negev desert. 

 

Steady States (2021) is a sound-based, semi-fictional digital environment depicting Israel's contested water politics; Ancient aquifers dry and collapse as the state pumps water and prevents access to locals. Sinkholes gape as the Dead Sea Works factories mine minerals, rapidly evaporating surface water. Jets fly overhead as Bedouin villages are repeatedly demolished. Using the voice of a disembodied guide, viewers are taken on three tours. Military radio recordings courtesy of the Israeli Defence Forces Archives.

 

The work is presented in three parts showing a variety of landscapes: Inward, Rift, and Above. See 'Videos' for a virtual tour of each landscape, also available on @GAZELL.iO Instagram TV.