Michal Heiman Tests No. 1-4 (M.H.T.s)

enactments, test boxes and constructions developed by Heiman.  

In 1997, Heiman started considering the diagnostic situation and the enactment in space of the psychoanalytic practice, as well as its preoccupation with gaps, loss and destruction, and its complex relation to the visual which is open to infinite meanings. In the M.H.T.s, Heiman creates the conditions for art viewers to act, in venues like museums or galleries (and later also in the theater), as they would in a psychoanalytic situation. She examines the power structures set in motion in these venues, evident for instance in the silencing of speech and its confinement to captions or texts attached to visual utterances.

The projective tests (Michal Heiman Tests Nos. 1 and 2) are compiled from photographs from Heiman’s archive, which she placed in boxes similar to those used by psychologists in tests such as the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test). Then, aided by male and female examiners, Heiman examines in different spaces notions such as containing, projection, viewing/reading, enactment in space, etc.

Michal Heiman Test (M.H.T.) No. 1

Enactment, Documenta X Kassel, 2004

Michal Heiman Test (M.H.T.) No. 2: My Mother-in-Law - Test For Women

Enactment, Le Quartuer Center for Contemporary Art, Quimper, France, 1998

Heiman’s third Test, created in 2004, was supported by a construction of her own devise, meant to serve as a machine for reading short films made in different genres by male and female artists, works that interested Heiman particularly due to their inherent potential for layered reading. In this work, volunteer members of the audience were asked to reach an agreement concerning a reading of the film they had just seen. Six volunteers lay on couches and read films for fifty minutes, aided by moderators (psychologists) and by audience responses. An on-line video editor edited the films and a typist documented the interpretations, in 13 different encounters.

Michal Heiman Test (M.H.T.) No. 3: What’s on your mind?

Construction and Enactment, Israeli Fringe Theater Festival, Acre, 2004

Michal Heiman Test (M.H.T.) No. 4: Experimental Diagnosis of Affinities