Nivi Alroy: Red Queen

Exhibited artists


Nivi Alroy’s new video installation, “Red Queen” (2013), is set in an abandoned laboratory populated by a nest of hornets. From this hornets’ nest spills a buzzing flow of animation of urban fragments. In the second “center” of the installation, a work called “Virus” (2013), another animation bubbles out of an object that resembles an archaeological tel. Composed of sketches of urban fragments, the animation is based on the distribution process of cells in nature. The work reflects the various mediums in which the artist works: sculpture, installation and animation, as well as painting on wood and on porcelain. Alroy creates a symbiotic environment, in which life forms are not only dependent on each other but also threaten one another. The animated organisms’ eruption into the antiquated laboratory, upon which time has left its mark, brings about a clash between artificial life and the natural environment. These remnants engender tension between enchantment and darkness, and suggest the cycles of life, healing amid desolation and rebirth. The use of evolutionary theories and scientific research has become Alroy’s signature note over the years and serves her as a broad platform of operations. In this installation she develops a new narrative amid a dialogue with theoretical concepts that draw inspiration from the “Red Queen hypothesis” proposed by Leigh Van Valen in 1973. The hypothesis got its name from a scene in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass in which Alice must compete with the Red Queen in a running race. Although they are running at full speed, Alice notices that they are not moving forward at all and the Red Queen explains to Alice that she must run as fast as she can in order to stay in place. This rule that proposes the principle of constant change as a necessary condition for survival characterizes in large part the development of species in nature, as well as the nature of modern life. These notions are interwoven in Alroy’s architectonic morphology and find expression in the video installation, the sketches and the works in wood. They make manifest the artist’s ongoing pursuit of the tension between orderly systems and the chaotic factor that disrupts them.