Paper and glue, dimensions variable
A totem-like erection in black-and-white, Masterpieces was collaged together from hundreds of drawings that Laufer had made during regular visits to the British Museum in 2006–2007. With this organically-shaped pole of crumpled sketches, her own collection of British Museum masterpieces has finally found an emblematic, yet formless form. The work plays with the notion of colonial-era museums by referencing exoticism on the one hand, and presentation and perception on the other.
Public collections raise questions about place, time and the sense of belonging. Objects are displaced and uprooted from familiar surroundings and their original sense of purpose dysfunctions in the imposed contexts. The fetishized artifacts invite fantasies and, whether taking an escape road or an analogical route, politically – privately or publicly, museums as such are places of projection and introspection.
The habit of drawing from museum collections has fallen from favor, allowing the freedom to approach the custom away from the constraints of academic training. Initially seduced formally, Atalya took perverse pleasure in this supposedly archaic process, reclaiming the humorous, erotic and poetic potential supplied by the art objects. Her attempts to make a cohesive and more ambitious statement resulted in a series of multi-layered acetate collages. By re-drawing her drawings on the thin material, arranging and rearranging them, the work grew more complex. Masterpieces manipulates the notions of ‘transparency,’ ‘reflection’ and ‘manipulation’ both literally and metaphorically.