Tel Aviv

View of “Dina Shenhav,” 2019. From left: Merkava (Chariot), 2019; Soldier #3, 2018.

View of “Dina Shenhav,” 2019. From left: Merkava (Chariot), 2019; Soldier #3, 2018.

Dina Shenhav

Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art

Developed by the Israeli Defense Forces in the 1970s, the Merkava is a battle tank used widely in Israel’s military operations. It was recognized by the American conservative magazine The National Interest as one of the five deadliest tanks in the world. Dina Shenhav’s sculpture Merkava (Chariot), 2019, appearing in an exhibition of the same title, occupied a vast portion of the gallery space with its impressive scale and meticulously detailed surfaces. Yet this model had been hand-fabricated entirely of foam (with a wood armature) and thus deprived of its lethal force. The malleability of the material gave it a slightly sagging silhouette, and, most notably, its guns hung limp. Crammed behind a couple of columns, it was clearly not going anywhere.

In the combination of scale (large), detail (graphic), and material (soft), Shenhav threw a proverbial wrench into the customary representation

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