Mariel Harari

 Bitter Root (Cow Flowers), Mariel Harari, 2016



Gears explores the ways in which we do and don’t connect with ourselves, each other and our environment. Performers affixed with gear spokes bend and curve to interlock then pull away. At times they remain static unaware of what their spokes are meant for. Other times they just completely miss, repeatedly bumping into an unavailable surface or attempting to physically engage projected video as though it were real. Harari examines the societal constructs that promote this behavior and in turn are perpetuated by it. Gears presents humans as the mechanisms trapped and enabling the machine of expectation and privilege.

Gears combines projected video, sound, and dance. Harari explores movement as a visual component in immersive installation, in the tradition of Yara Travieso and Rosemary Butcher. The video and sound components will incorporate both literal and nostalgic allusions to gears. Imagery of ferris wheels spinning and large plastic gears from elementary school accompany industrial sounds and clean clicks. Like Nathalie Djurberg and Allison Schulnik, Harari’s work employs a playful accessibility to mask darker undertones.

During her sponsorship at High Concept Labs, Harari will use the space and time to develop, workshop, and perform Gears. She will participate in artist critiques and engage with audience members for constructive feedback as the project progresses. Harari will culminate her sponsorship with a performance and documentation of the final piece.

Artist Bio

Mariel Harari photo by Jasper Goodrich

Mariel Harari is a multimedia artist working in installation, fiber, video, sculpture and performance. She utilizes bright, tactile materials reminiscent of childhood, employing playful splendor as a lure. Harari creates immersive environments that blend autobiographical and fantastical narrative often utilizing herself as a subject in conjunction with imagined creatures or landscapes. Using meticulously beaded encrustations on nuanced human skin or stuffing heaps of unruly yarn in shiny, clear encasements, Harari’s work balances between containment and chaos.  She explores the relationship between societal constructs and uninhibited experience with a focus on expectations placed on women and the internalized battle between pure and manipulated behavior.

Harari earned her Bachelors of Science in Studio Art at Skidmore College, where she received the Marguerita Mergentime Award in Fiber Art. Her work has been exhibited at venues including A.I.R Gallery and has been reviewed in publications including Brooklyn Magazine. Harari has been awarded residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. Harari is co-founder and administrator of the Chicago chapter of  Lady Art Nation, an intersectional feminist collective for female identifying and non binary creatives. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.


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