Imagine a dress, a garment, which you can wear, that will protect you from the world around you. It will guard you from all worldly activities, and will function like a shield, a fence between you and the rest of the world. In the project Defensive Shield the artist Naomi Safran-Hon attempted to create such a barrier in a form of a coat. Using cement, a material that is used in the construction of walls and fences, Safran-Hon creates a personal defense structure. The cement is pushed through green lace that then is stitched together to create a long overcoat. The lace is the structure that holds together the cement. By transforming the cement into a wearable garment Safran-Hon deflated its key quality of strength and stiffness. Thus making the garment’s initial purpose impossible to achieve. Creating an ironic situation whereby the cement, which was supposed to function as a shield, becomes a burden for the person wearing the overcoat.
The title of this piece refers directly to the name of the military operation “Defensive Shield” conducted in 2002 by the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territories. By making a link between this military operation and her piece, Safran-Hon raises questions about the quality of defense and its ironic outcome.
Safran-Hon received her MFA from Yale University, and her BA, Summa Cum Laude (highest honors), from Brandeis University. She is also the recipient of Blanksteen Curatorial Fellowship, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2010), Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Traveling Fellowship, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2009), Paul Caine Memorial Award, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (2008)
IMOCC can be seen Tuesday and Thursday en-route in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, January 23 through February 23, 2012.