An Israeli artist based in New York, Tirtzah Bassel draws with duct tape — a material most often associated with quick fixes and temporary solutions — to explore the airport as a modern space of transience and transformation. The painterly and sculptural effects she achieves with her limited palette conjure the intrusive physical intimacy of a security pat-down, the postures of waiting, or the no-man’s-land of the transit lounge. Under the heightened security regime since 9/11, the traditional emblems of travel — freedom, adventure, global connection — have become entangled with more complex emotions of vulnerability, discomfort, disempowerment, and exposure as travelers find themselves “trapped” between destinations. Applied directly to the walls, Bassel’s images explore the relationship between power and space, and the permeable borders between public and private domains.
- Installation Views
New York–based Tirtzah Bassel investigates the spaces where public and private overlap, particularly transportation, border crossings, and airport security checkpoints. She attended the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel before earning an MFA at Boston University, and she currently serves as assistant director of the Brandeis Institute of Music and Art.