The Decoys
3-channel FHD video installation, color, sound, 19:20 min loop

LED monitors, safety railings, safety railing mounting sockets, liquid latex, radio frequency pyramidal absorber foam, steel scaffold, Mild steel, liquid latex, silicone rubber, silicone tubes, aluminum foil, haptic transducer


The Decoys is the sum of Hagai’s three-year preposterous endeavor to revive the lost libido of her dear pet rabbit, Dudu, following her decision to have him neutered in 2018. Hagai’s tireless yet doomed pseudoscientific attempts to restore his lost sex drive include an interview with the veterinarian who neutered Dudu; the construction of a sculptural sex doll for the rabbit; the fabrication of an inflatable soft robot; the creation of a replica of Hagai’s legs (once the lustful focus of Dudu); and the production of a customized VR headset for a rabbit designed to offer a “seductive” VR experience. The latter, which is the final tech-solutionist phase of Hagai’s quest, involved producing a 360-degree “rabbit porn” experience for the VR headset she fabricated, filmed at the farm of a rabbit breeder Hagai has been following for the past year. 

At The Decoys’s core is a DIY version of a shake table, a device used to simulate seismic waves and stress-test the response of industrial structures and robots. Activated via a haptic transducer by the soundscape of the videos, the shake table metaphorizes questions central to the installation: What is the point in planned failure? What is strong enough to survive? 

Along with the shake table, the installation included ready-made elements reminiscent of industrial testing facilities, such as safety railings, stools, a scaffold, and radio frequency pyramidal foam absorbers. Atop the shake table, the mother molds of Hagai’s replica legs, whose fabrication process is featured in the video, rest in a shallow pool of slowly drying liquid latex. Bodily residues of the molding and casting process, they pulsate as the shake table vibrates.

Throughout the three-channel video, it is unclear what is true and what is fiction, and if Dudu is indeed the subject of this experiment; an experiment which can be seen as equally deranged as castrating a rabbit in the first place. In a disturbingly humorous speculative apparatus, Hagai delves into the intricacies and complexities of domestication and instrumentalization of nonhuman bodies and examines the perceived normative violence built into pet ownership. Her puzzling imagery is submerged in a tragic moment of libidinal loss, and raises questions regarding interspecies desires, the probity of the moving image, and the ethical boundaries inherent in an artistic pursuit involving a nonhuman subject.

Installation View

Photo credit: Tom Little & Chris Uhren

Video Stills