I gather experiences, images, and everyday situations, transforming them into artistic forms. My journey in the world of art commenced during my studies in jewelry design at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax (1983-’85), and later at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam (1985-’89). Under the guidance of Onno Boekhoudt at the Rietveld Academy, I broadened my perspective, delving into experimentation, ultimately discovering and cultivating my unique artistic language.
In my creative process, the human body takes center stage, emphasizing its mental, physical, and kinetic aspects along with the surrounding space. I keenly observe any limitations that arise, incorporating them into the construction, aiming to define and expand the body space.
Each element at play influences and interacts with others, converging into a unified whole. The human presence is dual – both a participant and an observer. As the participant, the individual becomes the core of this artistic “unit,” while simultaneously taking on the role of a viewer, observing the unfolding events.
I resist the inclination to categorize my works into a specific artistic genre or direction. To me, it is ultimately about the exploration, a continuous quest rather than conforming to predefined classifications. The search for meaning and expression transcends rigid boundaries, inviting viewers to appreciate the dynamic interplay of elements and the fluidity of artistic creation.
Noam Ben-Jacov, unnameable and untamable
Noam Ben-Jacov determines his works as body-related objects. Kafka wrote about people who suffer because of their profession. The audience often pays for the privilege to watch the suffering in order to get purified through catharsis. Noam most probably must know this.His works contain that u n n a m e a b l e – that provides a kind of magical distance, mystery, nameless might, holiness.
I am staggered by Noam Ben-Jacov’s dynamic restlessness when he purposefully marches towards his destination in snowfall, wearing his sandals. Directly or indirectly.
The world can be understood in various ways. The metaphor of the lock and key is one possibility. If man’s tool is the key then every problem is the lock to him.
NBJ’s performances must be seen in reality. Not only because many of our perceptions fail to reach us from the screen, we subconsciously pick out the significant, much is lost in translation, much disappears in censure. In any case our nerves won’t shoot all at once. And since the body has a tendency to sabotage the attention of the mind by a deviation, whatever we receive from the screen is inevitably one-sided. Something essential might get lost – the crunch of the dancer’s feet on the floor, gusts of air of drawn breath, the echo of metal constructions clinging together … We see, hear, smell and feel the ultra smell (the smell by which two squirrels recognise each other in the forest). We hear the silence after a porcelain vase has shattered.
Noam tears reality into throbbing pieces and fits it back together.
Art’s touchstone is its precision, said Ezra Pound.
The key of these moments is the tension between the form’s brilliant prison and freedom of depiction. An accord emerges, assembling of unexpected sounds, something new with the sound of its own. Stimulating one sense enhances others as well – synthesis, what else. It whips the senses, adds perceptions, so we could feel fully satisfied with the performance of life. To be mortal and charged with perceptions means both panic and – privilege. For those who have partaken in NBJ’s performances such a perception of swinging signifies an exalting privilege.
The letters that Noam sends to his friends are so special. They are like dance performances. There are hardly any sentences as such. Just a thought, then another – and a dotted line in between. I always read these letters as pantomime. A movement – and the accompanying aerial gap, a dotted line. Then the next movement, something rustles in the air. The picture runs in front of the eyes and in the ears.
Mystical non-material force of life.
*professor Kadri Mälk ,Tallinn, Estonia academy of arts.
* transleted by = Tiina Randviir