(photo credit: Courtesy)
Beaming, mighty pleased with himself, Serge (Ohad Knoler) shows Marc (Natan
Datner) the painting for which he has paid 200,000 francs. It’s a white on white
oblong, and for Serge it’s Art. Marc cannot believe his ears or his eyes. That
piece of expensive trash is art?? Oh, puh-lease!! And when Yvan (Norman Issa)
tries to mediate, as he’s always done between his volatile buddies, things go
from bad to worse, not least because he’s getting married.
On the face of
it, this is a sharp, sophisticated comedy about contemporary art and friendship
in which ideas, like particles in a collider, bounce off each other with verve
But Art goes beneath the surface to dismember old assumptions,
old ideas about the meaning behind the interpretation of friendship and art, the
very words themselves.
And as their old definitions or bits of received
wisdom are forced to the wall, the three old friends achieve a new context for
Knoler, Datner and Issa, accomplished and thoughtful
actors, work well and easily together. They juggle the lines expertly –
sometimes at the expense of their diction – and Yvan’s famous monologue is a
tour de force that garners Issa welldeserved applause. The actors bond more with
the audience than the characters with each other, as old friends should and
would. Perhaps that’s because Datner is also the director, but it niggled at
And it has to be said: The huge Haifa Theater mainstage is just too
big for this production so that Avi Sechvi’s looming set of brick walls – so
designed perhaps to suggest that the three are too much prisoners of their
perceptions – resembles a real prison.
Withal, this Art means well. It
Just the tongue-in-cheek wit is missing.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>