Installation at the Minshar Gallery, Tel Aviv
Curator: Meital Raz, 2011
Photos: Hilit Kadouri
In an unrestrained outburst of prophetic writing five years ago, Ro'achem ("your evilness" and also "your shepherd" in Hebrew) was born, a kind of an alter-ego, a prophet and the Order of the Unclean leader, a philosophical-religious conception, ranging between a wild and violent satire on any religion, that is characterized by the blind faith attitude, and a system of beliefs that are suitable to the present social and cultural climate.
In the biblical-like book, Ro'achem, who is a hybrid creature between a man and a female dog, undergoes a voyage of apprenticeship, saturated with violence, which begins in wild nature, continues in a wilder nature, and returs back to nature – where he discovers his messianic power.
Assi Meshullam, who sees himself as the flag bearer of the Order's revelation, places the body and its impureness in his work at the center of religious experience, as a metaphor to the chaos and lack of order that the theological system is experiencing, and to the decline of divinity from the highest spheres of existence to everyday life, to the here and now. Ro'achem's unwillingness to ascribe himself a position of a god, is the heart of the Order, that symbolizes religion after the Nietzschian "Death of God", a religion that deprived the moral responsibility from the abstract and unattainable god and designated it to the individual and his consciousness. The body, as Meshullam presents it, isn't the mundane dwelling of the soul any more, but a flinching and fluttering arena of liquids and juices, that express the man-animal deep religiosity.
The visual images created by Meshullam touch archetypical and universal religious experiences. The totem poles showing in the exhibition, an odd mixture between classic columns, sacred pagan sculptures, and dissected sacrificial hybrid creatures, refer to the savage underworld where the Order was formed, and function as a sort of a psychological mechanism that carries bestial features, with which the Order's followers can identify.
- Meital Raz, Voodoo Time, 2011.