Critics’ Picks

Luciana Kaplun, Gilda, 2014, color, sound, 18 minutes.

Luciana Kaplun, Gilda, 2014, color, sound, 18 minutes.

Tel Aviv

Luciana Kaplun

The Center for Contemporary Art (CCA)
2a Tsadok Hacohen St. (Corner of Kalisher) The Rachel & Israel Pollak Gallery
July 16–September 6, 2014

The protagonists of Gilda, Luciana Kaplun’s latest film, are silent, anonymous faces of foreign workers whose legal status is questionable. The 2014 film homes in on Latin Americans who clean Israeli homes and businesses, among them cleaners of the CCA itself, following workers as they begin their daily chores. A young man dressed in white arrives at a luxurious house in Tel Aviv, another at a triplex, and a woman cleans offices in the Haaretz newspaper building. Amidst a monotonous rhythm of work, their activities suddenly transform: The first young man, folding washed clothes, calmly tries on an elegant women’s blouse and the other man enacts a striptease in a leopard-print G-string, while the woman creates sculptures from office supplies.

Kaplun’s video invokes the latent fantasies conceived during tedious and repetitive labor via two simultaneous storylines, one depicting the protagonists working and another showing them joining forces in an improvised temple that they have erected in a small space. These overlapping narratives might reflect the ambiguous nature of the title itself: Gilda, the name of an Argentinian pop singer, also translates as “guild” in Hebrew. The temple might be the location in which the “guild” organizes itself as such, where its destitutions are replaced by commitment and devotion. Gilda’s hit song “No Me Arrepiente de Este Amor” (I Do Not Regret This Love) becomes the sound track of their daily routine. As behaviors become more unpredictable, connections between class and gender are revealed, as are the sweeping economic forces that fuel globalization.