100 grams blacks


Video, 2011

60 min

The video piece 100 grams blacks refers to the Hebrew slang for sunflower seeds, a common snack in Israel sold in local kiosks. In this piece, Bartal slowly spins for a full hour, while cracking, eating and spitting the shells of 100 grams of sunflower seeds.

In so doing, Bartal creates a symbolic juxtaposition between the Levantine cultural context – the act of cracking the seeds –,and the poetic result of a perfect, materially comprised circle (made from the shells).

The act of spitting – Middle Eastern, vulgar, indecent – becomes a cultured act resulting in the creation of high, respectable and acceptable art.

The piece is in dialogue with aspects of sub-culture, abjection and proletarianism, and emphasizes connections between social opposites.

The act itself, of an hour spent solely cracking seeds, is a sort of Zen act – silent, repetitive and monotonous. The final result – a ring of shells – architecturally calls to mind a Zen garden. A spiritual act thus arises from vulgarity.