Roni Ben Porat
Roni Ben Porat (1995, Israel) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Israel.
In Roni’s work, she combines the ﬁeld of art and architecture and put her content into it. She does research on a concept that most often comes from the world of architecture or culture and out to the material, sculptural interpretation.
Each material has emotional baggage, meaning, and story, which Roni uses for her own interpretation and tell a story under a conceptual title. Each work process begins with in-depth theoretical research and materiality pops up throughout the study. Usually, there is a sentence or two in the study that brings me associations of materiality, and then the game starts in the studio. As part of the games with the material, she examines its boundaries and character, until final decisions are made.
As in life, sometimes work processes change, and Roni discovers while working a new life, a new meaning to her work.
These are amazing things that happen on the move and not by early planning. So, in the process of starting a very precise study, Roni forces herself to stop and examine which things have happened by themselves without explanation and what is intuitively attracting her to delve into it. Many of Roni’s work led to the next thing long before she realized it, “the wisdom of hindsight”.
Through the material, she creates a visual language, and through space, she tells the story to which she relates.
With the help of art, Roni’s research contemporary questions, mostly in the field of culture, and answer them with the help of abstract and enigmatic visual language, with reference to space and the environment.
The "answers" provide different interpretations and reading options through materiality and presentation.
Chambre Fluide: Hello Roni! Let's start talking about yourself and your passion for Art. How did it all start?
Roni Ben Porat: Well, I know it will sound a little bit cliché but I have painted all my life, sculpture and installations are something that I started in these last 7 years.
I learned Art in many schools and also in private groups, but the study of professional art began when I started my degree in Art at Minshar for Art College in Tel Aviv. This is a small school of art, and at that time I started learning interior design at Ultima school of design. I learned both of them together at the same time and I have taken techniques from interior design to art and from art to interior design.
At this moment I’m not working as an interior designer; I learned and I’m learning about it, I’m interested in the materials and techniques and I combine what I get from interior design with my artistic research.
CF: You are currently live in Israel. What's your relationship with your country and the Judaism culture?
RB: Actually I’m not from a very religious family, it is more liberal, but somehow Judaism always comes into my research at some points. I can’t say that I’m totally disconnected from Judaism in my art, but maybe in my works, you can see a bit of Judaism elements or it is something that is part of my research, like in the back of the mind, but this is not something that I deal with, you know, that is official.
CF: How does your research develop? Where do you collect your inspiration from?
RB: Actually each research starts in its own way. These days I’m working on a new project, which started differently from the other previous works. Sometimes I have a few images that I combine and then the idea pops up in my mind. Sometimes I directly create something from that idea, but this process totally changes from research to research.
CF: Let’s talk about "Folly". Could you explain the relationship between Architecture and your works? Why do you choose the element of arches in particular as a reminder of ancient culture?
RB: "Folly" is a building that mimics the remains of ancient construction from the past.
I created a sculptural installation that deals with the relationship between architectural objects and their cultural meaning.
The hybrid space brings us back to meeting points that were once central and vibrant and offer an abstract interpretation of the change those points have undergone following the technological age. The arches were created with a transition space that only fits one person. Through their installation in space, the arches have created a walking route that is suitable for only one person and allows for wandering and self-gathering between architectural bodies that were previously part of the meeting centers. The arches simulate architectural objects from ancient times that have been adapted to our time.
The sculpture “Water well” covered with plaster which I utilized this material quality and caused it to crack. The cracks, the wounds of the material, the voids created between the cracks are the ones that dictate the abstract organic drawing around the well which I draw. At the bottom of the water well, there is a mirror that shows the reflection of the people that looks inside it, as in the mythological story of Narcissus. "Folly" is a word related to architecture generally: this is a building or something that looks very antique but it's more modern.
"Folly" is still an enigma for me, it’s more clear to me than to many others, but it’s something from the past that comes and visits the present. In my view, the magic of "Folly" is represented by the objects that we knew and we saw in the past. They are very familiar objects, part of History. It is like something from some religious architecture but shown in a different way.
Folly is a way to represent the changes because this is like the future, It is an Enigma.
CF: You said that each material has emotional baggage, meaning, and story for you. So why did you choose marble and glass for your research and works?
RB: Well, talking about materials I think about my work "Marble City" for example, and the main material I used was marble, but I have to specify that the kind of marble is statuario. You can find it in the statues, for example in the renaissance statues - like in Italy there are many and beautiful statues there. Well, this material, the marble, is linked to the past and to History, a specific history but I think we can look at something more global: the history of all humans. Marble is also used especially in Israel for gravestones, not exactly the same marble but a different kind.
Usually, you can find marble also in kitchens or in people’s houses and in gravestones. In "Marble City" you can see the pieces of marble. I started to play with them, with all the fragments, and I tried to see how to combine them and how to create objects from them. In the end, I finally saw a landscape, like a city landscape.
I created circles and gravestones. "Marble City" is a project that precedes the realization of "Folly", but they are a bit related: what I made in "Marble City", such as the circles, the landscapes, and the gravestones, are a meeting point where people can meet and communicate with each other.
About glass, you know, it is very fragile, it can be broken very easily in pieces.
CF: We would like to know how art can be important for everybody? Which is the role of art in our society? Why is art so important for you?
RB: For me, art is a great and good opportunity to express myself. Actually it’s interesting that we are not doing art on a daily basis, so, for me, today, I want to make people wander with my art, I want to ask questions because I think this is something that people usually don’t do, they don’t have enough time to do it or they don’t want to do it.
In Israel Art education, especially for children, is something that is not well supported; they visit museums and art galleries less frequently, you know, they are not exposed to art.
I don't think art is just something beautiful, it makes you think and I want to make people think.
You can find more works by Roni Ben Porat here