Martha Rieger began working on her project “Medusa” during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be her most personal project to date.
“Medusa” is a work comprised of ceramic objects which seem like octopus limbs, snakes or even horns. The objects are made of three pieces which when joined together form a 135 cm high seemingly moving statue. Their color is watery- a blue-green emerald color, and it gives the impression of a fleeting octopus, rising above sea-level for a second, just to disappear again.
The piece is an a-symmetrical multi-limbed statue (so different from Rieger’s past projects, symmetrical and wheel-thrown),it is inspired by nature. Medusa follows Rieger’s Eggs, Bubbles and Cocoons projects, and seems to reveal to the observer what lurked inside or beneath her past projects.
Rieger had the project’s name in mind before she created it. The Medusa was born from within, buried deep within Rieger’s cognition. Rieger worked with the help of her assistant, Tair Almor, the two dealt with immense technical and physical challenges. The mythological statue Rieger has created is full of curves inviting the observer to do more than observe and also touch the objects. The project revolves around beauty, jealousy, temptation, punishment, witchcraft and fear. Moreover, it deals with an image which has been discussed thoroughly in western art, but gives it a different spin- the face is not what we focus on but rather the snakes replacing Medusa’s hair. The human portrait with its mythology and its loaded contexts are embedded in the pieces subconscious, behind the scenes, in the collective recollection of the observers. The visual focus is on nature, the limbs simulate a living organism attractive and intimidating at the same time.
The project can be seen at “HaLounge” Group Exhibition, at Neve Schecter Space in Tel Aviv.