Land Slugs – Reviews

“This work intends to function as art, but almost incidentally captures a slice of life. With the help of simple, conceptual decisions, and through the silence that contains the suffocating storm, the work gives shape to a viewer who is focused, aware and alert.

And they crawl, dragging themselves on the sidewalk, the body is submissive, emptied of its wildness, strength, pathos and libidinal charge. The two dancers go all out till the very end, the friction of the skin on the pavement is like the clashing of swords, with sparks flying. Here the dancer’s body, generally accustomed to specialized, soft surfaces, submits itself to direct contact with the world and pays the price for it in blood. The plasters reveal the bruises. Because in our encounter with the outside, what was whole and innocent cannot protect itself from constant injury.

These are two mature artists who are confident both in their talent and in the integrity of their inner world. They almost always choose an expressive brutality involving extreme trials they undergo in which they ostensibly lose themselves, negate themselves. Each is a distinguished, powerful artist and still they let go of the ego to create something together that is alive and whole.

‘Land Slugs’ is bold, its images overwhelm the retina, sending themselves directly to the subconscious, aggressive, hypnotic, creating only one way to see them: a consumerist gaze devoid of logic, helpless.”
 – Anat Zecharia, Hamevakeret, Siurei Machol, October 2021


“In ‘Land Slugs,’ Michal Samama and Noa Dar led a group of viewers along the street without walking at all – crawling, lying, dragging – as they fulfilled a precise and ordered choreography, an array of exhausting ways to advance in space while staying horizontal, collecting filth, dirt and a slew of disturbing associations along the way. The direct encounter with their bruised bodies has a notable impact on viewers, evoking compassion or repulsion, as if to illustrate the words of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas: ‘Man is exposed to the other the way skin is exposed to what wounds it.’ Not only was their commitment to the piece apparent in their bodies, but in all aspects of their execution as well, which was straightforward, direct and bold. Ostensibly, nothing happens in the piece apart from them advancing, but seeing it provokes thoughts about public space, the way it reflects us as a society, the indifference and apathy with which we treat each other, the place of women in this space, and the possibility that art affords to envision this space differently.”
– Ran Brown, Haaretz, October 2021


“Observing the work provokes thoughts about time and space, contained in the Hebrew title of the piece, ‘Druchot’ [daruch can mean tensed, alert, or primed; more literally, it can mean stepped on]: Not only an emotional state but a very palpable image of the ways in which restrictions imposed during the pandemic limited the ability to be, in the deepest sense of word, in space and outside. ‘Land Slugs,’ the English title of the work, introduces additional layers related to the place of the body in the social sphere, insofar as the various methods Michal Samama and Noa Dar employ to advance in space often change the way in which they are experienced by viewers. But those moments in which, under the circumstances, they transform to resemble homeless people or eccentric characters whose behavior doesn’t align with the norm – raise thoughts about those who we tend to see in this way, and how easily we do so; those we usually step over, albeit not physically.”
 – Idit Suslik, The Contemporary Eye, October 2021 

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