Thomas Israël



Coming from the theatre world, Thomas Israël (Brussels, 1975) approaches the visual arts from a multi-media perspective, challenging the visitor who is invited to take part in the artistic experiment.

By means of more or less sophisticated devices, it is the self-image which he questions by processes of appearance and disappearance, of superposition, thus utilizing the concept of temporality. One will undoubtedly have seized this through these mechanisms including real time animated images or delayed images, whereby the artist evokes the human destiny in forms of contemporary vanities.

The interactive video sculpture “There is No spoon”, refers to the Buddhist concepts of impermanence and dissolution of ego. Here, Thomas Israël inserts the individual portrait in a broader portrait, that of a community living the same experiment. Thus, the video portrait of the curious visitor will be mixed with other faces, known or unknown. It is placed in a group, in something broader than that of its simple experiment. “cadavre exquis” video witch questioning self-image, far from the high tech morphing of Beneton or Michel Jackson from the ‘90, the simplicity of the process leaves room to the dream.
“There is No spoon” belongs to the project “Identity(s)” supported by the French Community of Belgium, Multi-media commission.

Thomas Israel dissects, in the sculpture-video “The Mobile”, the mechanism of the representation of oneself. Seemingly, one is vis-a-vis a simple, light, flexible identity image: a mobile-mask on which a moving image is projected. But, as for the ditch which separates the physical body and the body symbolic system, between the skin of the mask and what is printed there, there is a whole world. More over, the brittleness of the image of oneself contrasts with this imposing machinery which is used for constituting it.

“The Sand glass” takes the form of an anthropomorphic video sculpture to evoke the experiment of the dissolution of the Ego: the ego empties itself unceasingly, and if the image of oneself catches it a moment, it inevitably falls, leaving on the ground the traces of what was.

In his HD video HD “Puppets”, Thomas Israel dives in a fantasmatic space, between flesh and void. He sets up a double temporality around his female model, between softness and violence. Abused love, fear, search for pleasure, unease of the body perceived like a prison of flesh dedicated to dissatisfaction: the paradoxical beauty of this images of a hung woman disturbs us and questions our own state of uncertainty.


photo gallery


THOMAS ISRAEL (1975 , Brussels)

Lives and works in Brussels
Laureat in 2006 of the Online Community Art Project - MoMA - New-York (



Lorent, Claude. « There is no spoon » in La libre Belgique- La Libre Culture. 11/4/2007. FR
Kozma, Zsolt. « Alapanyag : a test”In Müértö 7/2007. H
Agéa, Philippe. « Near Death Experience » In Exporevue 11/2006. Fr