Special Effects by Ofri Cnaani

Can you see a trick while it's happening? Andrea Meislin Gallery announces Special Effects, Ofri Cnaani's solo exhibition at the gallery, featuring a new series of cyanotypes, prints and a media installation, titled Magic on Hold, explores how trickery is generated. An assemblage of low-fi moviemakers, photographs of slides, cameras and other devices give the viewer a rare sense of visual unrest.

Opening reception Thursday, April 26, from 6-8 pm.

On view APRIL 26 - JUNE 2, 2012

On May 5, 2012, Andrea Meislin Gallery will present a live radio play, written and performed by Cheryl Kaplan, titled Press Hold To Talk, based on Cnaani's works.

Cnaani's cyanotypes invent often enigmatic scenarios as film celluloid, silhouettes, paper cut-outs, tiny objects and broken glass are placed over blue photosensitive paper. This photographic print process is known as a blueprint. Cnaani's photographic work and prints are a continuation of her live-cinema performances. Oddly, Cnaani is working in photography without a camera. Her interest in technological failure has led her to create images that belong neither to conventional photography nor to painting. Magic on Hold, features a series of moviemakers that act as projection devices located on transparent tabletops. While appearing sculptural, the installation directs the viewer's gaze away from the tabletop to the space of the gallery, where shadows and imagery abound in constant movement.

Cnaani is interested in experimental photographic and cinematic depictions of light that promote states of flux while making no attempt to hide the means of production. Equal attention is paid to projector and image as the tension between reality and illusion is explored. Ultimately, Cnaani's image-making devices and prints give the viewer a glimpse backstage, to look, eye to eye, at where trickery lives.

Cheryl Kaplan's radio play, Press Hold To Talk, uses the format of a late Victorian era "problem picture" to present both a theatrical work and critique to portray an unresolved dilemma. Acting as diversion and debate, Press Hold To Talk locates Cnaani's obsession with crooks and spies as a contemporary dramatic event. Cnaani's interest in cameos, necklaces and newspapers turns out to be a classic Hitchcock plot device which is meant to catch the viewer's attention, often falsely. A special limited print edition of Press Hold To Talk— available both at the gallery and on its website— includes visual work by Ofri Cnaani and the radio play by Cheryl Kaplan. This is the second collaboration between Kaplan and Cnaani. Their first project, Public Notice, a live cinema performance, was shown at the BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York in 2011.

Ofri Cnaani's solo exhibitions and performances include: BMW Guggenheim Lab, NY; PS1/MoMA, NY; Twister, Network of Lombardy Contemporary Art Museums, Italy; Kunsthalle Galapagos, NY; Andrea Meislin Galfini Foundation Museum, Bristol, UK; Tel Aviv Museum; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Prague Triennale.

Cnaani was a Six Points Fellow and two-time winner of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation award. After showing in New York and Tel-Aviv, Cnaani's Sota Project will be traveling to Macro Contemporary Art Museum, Rome and the University of Southern California Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles in 2012.

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