Oran Hoffmann

Oran Hoffmann, born in 1981 in Kibbutz Sarid in the Jezreel Valley in Israel, lives and works in Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. Oran developed a project for our Gallery II titled Circles of Confusion. The title is as deadpan as the work itself. A line of five photographs showing colored circles on monochromatic backgrounds, surmounted on another three larger photographs directly applied on the wall of the same motifs in different color and order. The all-over composition looks at first glance like an abstract, even ornamental frieze that goes at some point optically berserk. “My starting point was these Mondrian colors, the modernist yellows, blues, reds and blacks. When you have a color circle and you move those 4 colors evenly around, you can get this structure. My set of rules has limitations and exceptions. Sometimes colors are not used but others are. I think of those colors as almost building blocks, as for instance in music to have an accord. You have major and minor chords, and the keys that make up those chords have also major and minor roles.” (Oran Hoffmann, 2015)

And yet that is not all there is (“…these are merely silly things I use to work with, not really an essence as to discuss the work through I think….”, OH).

Something else happens in these images that is quintessential for Oran’s work altogether. That excess moment that suddenly surfaces in his photographs puts him in an interesting tension to the image culture of the post-internet art milieu where the central medium premise is new technology and the image digitally generated, manipulated and manufactured to the point of no return. In Oran Hoffmann’s works there is an overdrive of realism – a feeling of defaulting, poor state of materiality at the same instant of defaulting digital post-manufacturing – that unsubscribes them from smoothly blending into the post-internet ‘genre’. The result is a peculiar image noise on the edges of the ‘objects’, objects, which are in fact of speculative and instable reality and form.

Oran Hoffmann’s images are based on objects (e.g. mirrors or any other profane mass produced object or material) that he stages and photographs in ways that they reach in their final representation an almost perfect pan-psychological state of materialization: a materialization that is again perfectly speculative.

“There is a layer of noise around content rather than content itself. The object of representation here has no formal legitimacy of existence as such.” (Guillaume Rouchon, 2015).

Hoffmann’s work, if consciously or not, is a reflection or abstraction of recent object-oriented philosophy, where everything is regarded as an object, whether it be “a mailbox, electromagnetic radiation, curved spacetime, the Commonwealth of Nations, or a propositional attitude” (Graham Harman). All things, whether physical or fictional, are equally objects. In this line of thought, objects are inexhaustible and real objects are incommensurable with our knowledge, untranslatable into any relational access of any sort. Consequentially, when objects combine, they create new objects.

In Hoffmann’s works objects are combined to the point, where they loose their former intentional integrity and become another; an object that is now at the same time abstract as it is still concrete, a most sensual and state-of-the-art balance. Further his image-objects are in perfect autonomy from any (human) relation.

In distance to post-internet art’s productivism, ‘new spirit of collectivity, post-crafts and low auratization’, Oran Hoffmann is a studio artist through and through. The work shows physical traces of its making while keeping with a sense of cool anonymity. There is something enigmatic about the transition when he has photographed the provisionally sculpted objects in his studio to the final state of image that he releases.

About Circles of Confusion he states:

“The whole series has an almost inner logic in which colors jump from the background to be mirrored in those mirrors that I photographed.”


Solo exhibitions

2015 Solo Exhibition, BROADWAY 1602, NY, USA (upcoming)

2014 Solo exhibition, NADA Art Fair, Miami Beach, USA

Event Horizon, Tempo Rubato, Tel Aviv, Israel (November 20 – December 27 2014)

Selected group exhibitions

2014 Objektiv: Josef Albers, Oran Hoffmann, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2 person exhibition), (cat.) The Winners, Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel

2012 Eyes in the Back of the Head, The Center for Digital Art, Holon, Israel Black Box, Public Space Project on Billboards, Jerusalem, Israel

An Ode to the Animal, Capricious space, Brooklyn, NY

2007 Plat(t)form 07, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
2006 De: Amsterdam, Espace Bellevaux, Lausanne, Switzerland

Exit 2006, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2005 ITS IV, ITS IV, Trieste, Italy