It’s hard to categorize Wrong Tools, the Ofri Cnanni show at the Andrea Meislin Gallery. The exhibit includes a participatory performance piece as well as a series of cyanotypes — a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print.
The Cnnani performance is like a spiritual “reading.” It “expands on the idea of visuality, visibility and vulnerability in the image-saturated digital culture, highlighting fundamental paradoxes of the media era,” according to the exhibition notes.
For my reading, I selected two items from a collection of objects in Cnnani’s window “office.” Then I chose a Tarot card – mine read “unlimited,” and contributed a personal item — a red pen. Cnanni added other objects and composed my “reading.” You could watch her on a large screen projected in the gallery and outside. A photo copy was printed and signed, providing a very personal involvement with the artist and her art.
Also on view at the gallery are a series of cyanotypes Cnnani created using real and fake hands, as well as other objects. This form of “photography” is typically used by engineers as a simple and low-cost process to produce blueprints. In Cnani’s hands, the photos created are reminiscent of Matisse’s blue cut-outs
The title of the show — Wrong Tools — underscores Cnaani’s working methods. She deliberately misuses technologies, and chooses low-tech, imprecise techniques to create distinct visual stories.
Cnnani, an Israeli born artist and educator, has had solo exhibitions and performances around the world including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, PS1/MoMA, The Fisher Museum of Art in L.A., and the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel. Wrong Tools will be on view through October 24.