Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel

Merav Kamel (born in 1988, Israel) and Halil Balabin (born in 1987, Israel) are an artist duo based in Tel-Aviv, working together since 2012.
Both of them received their BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem (Kamel in 2012, Balabin on 2014).
Their works are divided into two types of practices — the first is sewing of dolls, and the other is site-specific installations.
The installations deal with documentary and autobiographical content, through which they examine new possibilities of documentary representation. For example, how can the documentary film genre shed its cinematic identity, and how a human story can be told by using traditional artistic tools, without the use of a video camera.
In contrast, their work with dolls brings out an associative way of thought — the attachment of different organs born of amputations, hybridizations and compositions that create a new object. They are mutations of lust and fantasy with a humorous tone, which mix together an array of familiar images: Cartoons, surrealism, poeticism, a mélange of the high and low, art history, and the conflicted and bizarre space of Israel.
Their joint work cancels the masculine-feminine dichotomy of their works, and allows a fluid gender identity. An ever-changing, androgynous being is formed, with the ability to play more than one character.

Their works has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including: Buchum Museum, Germany; Brno house of art, Czech; Pram Gallery, Prague; PM gallery, Dusseldorf; Circle 1 Gallery, Berlin; Untitled art fair, Miami; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum; Herzliya Museum; Bat Yam Museum; Ha’Kibbutz Gallery, Tel Aviv; Givon Gallery, Tel Aviv; Inga Gallery, Tel aviv; among many other venues. Their works are included in a number of public and private collection such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Philara collection; Carry and Dan Bronner collection; Discount Bank collection; Roni and Allen Baharaff collection; Shoken collection; Ann and Ari Rosenblatt collection; Dubi Shiff collection; Alexander Farenholtz collection and other private ones. Both was awarded from Israel Ministry of Culture, Young Artist Award (Kamel in 2018, Balabin on 2016); Artis Residency grant; “Elhanani” Prize from Bezalel Academy of Art ; America- Israel cultural Foundation award for extra ordinary artistic achievement.

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Halil Balabin & Merav Kamel

Works

Siesta

2017

Fabric, metal, cardboard, acrylic, 40X45X22 cm

Accidental

2019

Fabric 60X75X24 cm

Bauchnabel

Installation view

PM Gallery, Doesseldorf

Bauchnabel

Installation view 2018

PM Gallery, Doesseldorf

Maalal

2016

Installation view

Maalal

2016 Detail

oil pastel and ink on paper, 100X70 cm

Noun

lightbox, 240X130 cm, soundtrack, pvc, 2018

Installation view of “Noun” exhibition at Herzelia museum of contemporary art

Noun

18 drawing, oil on paper 120X83 cm each one, 2018

Installation view of “Noun” exhibition at Herzelia museum of contemporary art

Pinhas

2015 Installation view

photograph, back screening on fabric, 160×230 cm
18 etchings, 25X20 cm each one
neon

To milk the story

etching, 20X25 cm, 2015

Out of a series of etchings shown at “Pinhas” exhibition at the Kibbutz galley, 2015, Tel-Aviv

Uncle Pini

2014 installation view

installation view, light box, neon, carpet, plaster

Rhinos

2015 installation view

Out of “Rhinos” exhibition at Inga gallery, 2015, Tel-Aviv

Pissing

2019

Fabric 90X50X40 cm

Hangover

2017

Fabric 50X40X10 cm