Aya Michlin

Residency 4: Morphallaxis 03

Timescale: 6 weeks from 8 April 2011

The works of Aya Michlin (b.1984, Israel) exhibit 3 main concerns; use of the colour red, obsessive colouring and depiction of violent scenes.

Michlin’s interest in violence structured towards such scenes which can be regarded from another point of view as aesthetic, a stance which connects to the way modern people process scenes of aggression exposed everyday via the media, either in fictional or non-fictional contexts.

Red for Michlin is the colour of blood, but it is also the colour with the longest waves in the spectrum producing works with a strong and vivid presence which resonate with a long-lasting intensity. Her desire is to use the bold appearance of red works to produce pieces which it is very difficult to ignore. The viewer is therefore compelled to confront the subject matter.

Finally the method of working, using only marker pens results in the artist being forced to work in an obsessive manner, furiously filling out large areas of surface over prolonged periods of time. This creates a test of endurance for the artist physically since the pens create an atmosphere of toxic fumes and the act of colouring leads to repetitive strain, as well as mentally through hours and days of trance like repeating of the same movement. Michlin has chosen this method because she wishes to suffer in order to create in herself a sense of solidarity with the characters and situations she depicts.

Her work draws on political subject matter and recent works have illustrated real situations. Previous works included exaggerated splattered blood patterns in order to offer the suggestion of parody towards situations of violence our exposure in the media has immunised us against. Michlin’s current works however have dispensed with the blatant statement and offer a more subtle suggestion of blood by using the diminution of colour as a method of allowing the viewer space to make the connections inherent in the scene.

Michlin’s project for ArtFunkl is the conclusion of a series of works which originated as a series of small scale sketches. She is now using these to create large powerful works which will further develop her working methodology.