Submission
Hilla Toony Navok

Front view

A key reference in Hilla Toony Navok’s works is the treatment of design as the expression of cultural identity and bodies, representation, taste and modernism. When taking a closer look, what appears familiar becomes unusual. Navok questions our viewing habits and the way we take things for granted when moving about in urban space.


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Exhibition view from outside
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view
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Exhibition view
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Exhibition view
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view (River), 2021, Coated metal, synthetic material, rubber hose, found objects, 130 x 120 x 230 cm
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Hilla Toony, Navok, Front view (Mascara), 2021, Coated metal, synthetic material, acrylic glass, nail polish bottles, cotton wool, 120 x 105 x 5 cm
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Detail of Front view (Mascara), 2021
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Exhibition view
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view (Mayonnaise), 2021, Coated metal, synthetic material, acrylic glass, aluminium, foil, card board, 125 x 117 x 5 cm
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Detail of Front view (Mayonnaise), 2021
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Exhibition view
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view (Reflection), 2021, Collage, acrylic glass, paper, found material, 50 x 44 x 5 cm
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view (Neon), 2021, Coated metal, synthetic material, plug, cables, neon tube, paper, nail brush, 120 x 105 x 5 cm
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Detail of Front view (Neon), 2021
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Exhibition view
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view Collage 04, 2021, Coloured sellotape on paper, artist frame, 50 x 44 cm
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view Collage 05, 2021, Coloured sellotape on paper, artist frame, 50 x 44 cm
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Hilla Toony Navok, Front view Collage 06, 2021, Coloured sellotape on paper, artist frame, 50 x 44 cm
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View at Mehringplatz, Berlin

In her second solo exhibition at KM, Hilla Toony Navok presents new site-specific sculptures and installations. Drawings and collages always form the starting point of her works. The artist uses paint, cut-outs and fields to capture different structures and systems which she then transfers to the space. A key reference in Navok’s works is the treatment of design as the expression of cultural identity and bodies, representation, taste and modernism. When taking a closer look, what appears familiar becomes unusual. Navok questions our viewing habits and the way we take things for granted when moving about in urban space.

The foil on the window transforms the outside appearance of the gallery into one of the many shops of the city, aesthetically falling into line with the adjacent doctor’s office. The title of the exhibition, Front view, refers to the building facades we see in passing, without knowing what lies hidden behind them. This image can readily be applied to personal encounters, during which the “facade” must always be maintained and may never crumble to avoid exposing weaknesses. The details in Navok’s new sculptures are made of materials that blurs and covers up – Mascara, for hiding the signs of life on the human skin, or Mayonese, a perfect taste-flattening paste. These materials are met with hard, exposing neon light and bright, smooth metal surfaces.

In contrast to her earlier walkable installations, Navok strived for compression and concentration in her new sculptural wall objects. Here, the facade of a building is condensed with colors of consumer items and elements that otherwise remain concealed. What was manufactured to be beautiful is seen at his most fragile and ugly moment – right after being used. Trash, cable scraps and other supply hoses encounter high-gloss surfaces, and receive unexpectedly a moment of grace and beauty. The artist combines the analytical approach of arranging industrially manufactured products with a highly intuitive and performative gesture. A moment of freedom is reached within the conformity and uniformity.

Navok seeks to achieve more fragility and breakouts from the rigid frameworks and regimentations in our thoroughly designed and standardized world, and she wants us to sharpen our view to see the hidden things and people that pass by unnoticed. Yet an uneasy feeling remains. In Navok’s works, there seems to be no escape from the existing system, the spaces appear too enclosed. Only the small elements form an almost lyrical narrative, they seem capable of reclaiming their freedom, their independent existence engenders a cosmos of its own—without the humans who once designed and implemented them.

Hilla Toony Navok lives and works in Tel Aviv. Her artistic work was awarded with numerous prizes, i.e. she received the Discount Artistic Encouragement Award (2020), the Rappaport Prize for a Young and Promising Artist (2020) including a solo exhibition at Tel Aviv Museum in 2022, the Beatrice Kolliner Prize for a Young Israeli Artist, Israel Museum (2018). In recent years she had many exhibitions, i.e. Waiting for the Sun, Herzliya Museum for Contemporary Art (2021), Rolling Rooms, On Curating Project Space, Zürich (2020), Beyond Bauhaus, Providence College Gallery (2019), Extensions, Atelier Shemi, Kibbuz Cabri (2018), Outlet, KM, Berlin (2017), Rounding up the Hours, Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv (2015) as well as Haifa Museum of Art, Petach Tikva Museum of Art, MeetFactory Prague, Local 30 Gallery Warsaw, Neues Museum Weimar, Ashdod Museum of Art and Redtory Art Center Guangzhou. Hilla Toony Navok teaches regularily at Bezalel BA Program in Jerusalem. Moreover she co-curated the Herzliya Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2009 und co-published the Picnic Magazine.