Curator: Joshua Simon
“There are two ways to conceive of the cinema of the Real: the first is to pretend that you can present reality to be seen; the second is to pose the problem of reality.” Edgar Morin
Under the conditions of Neoliberal optics of leisure and surveillance, Ruti Sela’s films offer groundbreaking visual ethics. Her work borders on both cinema and video art as it activates and documents power relations performed through sexuality, militarism, parenthood and professional relations, as these take shape around the camera.
The Neoliberal visual logic connects two traditions of documentary film – direct cinema and cinéma verite. In the first, the camera assumes the position of ‘a fly on the wall’, and in the second, the cinematographer takes active part in constructing the filmed situation. From Candid Camera to Big Brother, Neoliberal framing has combined these two traditions into abuse and entertainment; terror and pornography, selfies and closed circuit television, global positioning systems and aggregated movement control.
In this visual reality, Sela is able to layout a counter proposal through which masquerade, role playing and even deceit bring forth sincerity, integrity, truth and courage. As she engages with random acquaintances, students, family members, local and international artists and curators, famous and unknown, Sela not only documents situations but also participates and generates them by her own presence.
Using the camera as a participant and even the reason for the filmed events, Sela often requests the participants to hold it and document the event by themselves. In her solo exhibition at MoBY, Sela shows new video works and short films that have yet to be screened in Israel, and have never been shown together up until now.