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Twenty New Hooligans / Haifa museum 1999


Twenty New Hooligans was applied directly to the museum walls that were whitewashed after the show ended. That has been a usual practice with most of my painting installations so far.


The 20 men appear in 10 pairs, constructed of 40 parts, set on a grid around the hall.


The origin of the images is in a sequence borrowed from October, Eisenstein’s film, showing Cossacks dance in a circle. (It’s a very dark night scene with lots of mud, boots, and fire) In shooting 16 frames per second, Eisenstein had further accelerated a dance, fast in itself. The filmed Cossacks, thus, gained an appearance of mechanized beings almost, the look of tops.


I was so enchanted by this sequence that I wanted to study it frame by frame. To do so, I re-filmed my video screen proceeding by the slow forward and the pause buttons. The bodies of the dancers, as a result of this operation, were brutally segmented, lost their scale, were smeared and blurred, at times beyond recognition. I did it for no particular purpose other than to see better how that formidable scene was built, but now I was so intrigued by the material I got that I understood I was already working, possibly for the Haifa Show.


I then downloaded my ‘Schlachtplatte’ into my computer and worked on each frame separately. I got rid of all torsos, kept heads, lower body parts, and boots only. When this was ready I could print all fragments and reconstruct my twenty, indeed new, hooligans - shortened and convulsive grimaces, hardly dancing beings.


Next, I reconstructed an imaginary circle movement by building the entire room plan, keeping the look of a procession, (much like I did with the Ein Harod boys) by turning the images each on its own axis and all together around the room.


   The painting process was very much shooting into the dark, as the blurred deep dark projected images gave me only hints which were anyway further blurred and messed up by the squeegee work, a very rough tool. I proceeded by dozens of erasures, getting rid of the entire image, then recreating it, again and again, till I felt I could agree with a certain result, keeping in touch with the all-over plan.


After having contrived all constraints described above, the rest was ‘to suck’ my Cossacks from the wall, much through obeying chance and accident. What finally was to be seen on the walls is an entirely imaginary construct bearing very little resemblance to the original Eisenstein sequence.


For the 16 red rosettes, I used a huge spyrograph built especially for my walls projects. It is an enlargement of a children toy fit to the Leonardo scale of his man in the circle. It takes two people to operate it, pulling the line inch by inch, by a very slow movement. The silver rings all over cover the holes randomly drilled in the paintings while attaching the Spyro’ to the wall. I wanted to leave the trace of my action exposed and marked.

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