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.Read more