Noga Shatz’s new body of work 'Foreign Subject', explores ideas and images originating from her lived experience as an artist living in a foreign culture. Using the mono-print technique, Shatz harnesses the immediacy and mirroring nature of image transfer to reflect on notions of difference, loss and alienation. In doing so, Shatz simultaneously offers a comment on the wider context of current migration politics.
Through a sequence of image distortions, Shatz transforms the motif of a peacock - a bird admired and idealised for its ‘exotic’ beauty. Often kept in menageries and as ornaments in large gardens and estates, the peacock has long been subject to a gaze that is emblematic of the impulse to capture and in turn dominate. In the diptych Exhibit A: foreign Subject, the imagery of the peacock depicts an animal in distress. Framed and confined within a border, its essence is further stripped of its independence.
Part of the series Life in blue, the mono-print Eating a peacock for breakfast and staying alive, presents a tug-of-war narrative between a human figure and a peacock. As the former squeezes and attempts to ingest the bird as a whole, the self-effacing act remarks on concealing ones cultural identity in order to fit in. Converse to the notion of ‘peacocking,’ as well as colour associations of peacock blue to brilliance, Shatz’s use of blue is restrained and melancholic.
In a series of four mono-prints titled The fade away into little dots in space, the figure undergoes a process of estrangement. Through moments of abstraction and definition, Shatz draws an analogy between the female body and the bird. Gradually co-opted by its environment, the figure is consumed by the expectation to conform.