Written by Dr. Shlomit Lir.
In his exhibition Freaks like me at the Orly Dvir Gallery, Omri Koresh, a young Israeli promising artist, who describes himself as “somewhere between femininity and masculinity” portrays renewed reading of known Israeli and international figures, such as Orit Fux, Nona Chalant, olga leonidov, Topaz Arbell and Alina Kireyev.
The images raise the question whether allowing oneself to transgress traditional forms of femininity and masculinity is a liberating process or a binding one; does the ability to shape one’s appearance in the real world, or through art reinforces or undermines the spontaneous and free spirit of human existence?
In Koresh’s artistic world, the deviation from the familiar structures is not portrayed as a source of freedom and human expression. Instead, his characters appear tied to meticulous aesthetic norms, in an attempt to please unknown observing gazes.
The carefully constructed figures convey the message that transgender characteristics or extreme sexuality reinstates the displayed body as a subject to rigid criteria of thinness and beauty.
The request for freedom through the ability to shape one’s sexual identity and bypass the rigid boundaries of sexual constructions is not met. Instead, the images strengthen the mechanized aspect of a body. Instead of transcendence beyond the binding definitions of body representations and sexuality, the images present characters that place themselves as hangers for outsider view of themselves.