“My Last Travels in the Continent,”
Written by Tali Tamir:
Ayelet Carmi, Paintings
The woman in Ayelet Carmi's paintings - and there is no doubt that a woman is the main subject in her paintings, is feather light inspite of her muscular body. Although she is definitely not thin, she is able to skip from branch to branch, landing on a thin leaf without it bending from the weight of her body.
The woman in Ayelet Carmi's paintings is naked, full busted, her stomach is not exactly flat and she has a hefty buttocks. This softened femininity doesn't prevent her from sticking out her provoking tongue, and with intended impudence positioning herself in a fighting stance of an Amazon and signaling with her hand a threatening shooting gesture. The woman in Ayelet's paintings is a miniature woman - or more correctly - a miniature of a woman - but despite this she hangs in the center of the globe, as a powerful ruler, and waves her legs in delight.
The nakedness of this woman is her weapon and she spreads around her an aura of a circus : shining balls in circular tracks, colorful gowns and masks, dark eyes, cats promenading on a thin thread tied between two tongues, two colorful parrots, a swing flying in spinning heights , Tops of exotic palm trees and a changing color screen behind her.
She is in fact a grasshopper woman, ready to leap, fast to react, a true acrobat. Right beside her, on the oter side of the branch, stands a real grasshopper - green, legs and belly stretched, resting between one jump and the next.
Is the mythological survival of insects, their resistence and ability to live contrasted with their misleading small size and appearance hinted here ? Or are they but a part of an exotic flora backdrop that accompanies the choreographed act of the grasshopper woman ? And the viewer, the one that the woman sticks her tongue at, pulls her shoulder against him, aims a gun at his head - is this viewer a man ? an artist ? a woman ? is it the real world or perhaps the art world or the tradition of painting ? If we take our eyes off the hypnotizing figure of the woman for a moment and instead focus our attention on the background in which she directs her theatrical appearance, we can clearly see the known codes of the tradition of the "Sublime Art" - abstract fields of color, geometrical systems arranged in a rational way, openings to an endless blue pictorial depth, hints of romantic landscapes with vast horizons.
The paintings that are called "Sublime" filled with deep seriousness and aspirations appear in Ayelet's miniature paintings as a stylized backdrop with a comic transformation. What is left is only a distant and small echo of the tragic and fateful weight of the "Sublime" concept. On it, as a jumpy counterpoint skips the survivor of it's masculine serious world: a big-small woman, sexy-tough, a child woman, laughing and threatening. From a feminist point of view this woman is free of any fighting theory. In fact she is busier in gestures of threat than using force for the sake of it. She is aware of her power as well as of her relative weakness.
The series of acrobatic acts show that she is engaged in radiate free self awareness filled with self irony. As a sign of her self awareness she holds her finger to her li ps as if whispering: "Shhhhhh! Don't applaud the magic show of the circus, pay attention to the condition of the acrobat.