Pop up solo exhibition, Kiryat Hamelacha, Tel Aviv
Curated by Nogah Davidson, 2021
'Bird Milk' is an existing term with several meanings. In science, it refers to the secretion produced by certain species of birds for the purpose of feeding the chick in its early days. As an idiom, it is first mentioned in writing in ancient Greece as a poetic description of the impulse for achieving the impossible. In Eastern European cultures it is known as a dessert in the form of a fluffy eggs mousse coated with chocolate.
As a name for the exhibition, Bird Milk can be seen as the use of poetic syntax models in David Frenkel's creative process. His works are formulated as structures with syntactic logic, a game of tricks in a collection of images, concepts, narratives and aesthetic weights. As in science fiction, reality is only the basis for invention. It's a springboard to fantasy. As in science fiction, Frenkel's work is based on the charged tension in the relationship between man and nature. Frenkel observes shows in which man frames nature, reproduces it, exhibits it in museums and planned parks. Shows in which man uses nature in greedy lordship as a consuming resource. The world of the exhibition is like a theatrical and absurd natural museum. The skeletal bones are coarsely stitched together. Present the enterprise of regulating the knowledge of man in all its bluntness. Animals made up, glued and sewn. Standing in an unconvincing setting as entertainment, as education. A crater scarred by so many machines that have bitten it, stands when its wounds are displayed for the tourist public.
As a poetic concept, Bird Milk places man in front of his own grandiose dreams. In front of the bird and the wonder of creation embodied in it. In the face of the tragedy of human life. Facing the anxiety of chasing first place in the pyramid. The big brain, which supposedly separates us from the rest of the animals and makes "man" (or rather, the white man) the ruler of the world - is perhaps also what makes man suffer from megalomania in the first place. Evolutionary research says our brains are actually too big in relation to the fact that we walk on two. That we are not a perfect creation but in the midst of a painful and lengthy developmental process that we will probably not reach
the end of.
One can think of the urge to possess nature and achieve the inconceivable - also through photographic action. Photography burns a moment in time - its technical meaning is a person with a device capturing a sunbeam. Sucking from a bird. But the image captured on camera is too small to contain the complexity, amorphousness and ever changing of the actual experience. Photography is a mummyfication of reality. It is part of the great enterprise of appropriation and propaganda of human culture. Another example of our compulsive attempt to name, define, understand and control the space in which we operate. Socially and personally, photography provides fundamental pleasure and emotional comfort obtained through organization. It momentarily rescue from the trauma of chaotic life. Pressing the camera button is a sugar rush. But even if it is a momentary consolation it is as pleasurable as bird milk, like a soft foam on the tongue.