Art Exhibit 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A day after Jews mourned the destruction of the First and Second Temples in
Jerusalem, an art exhibit at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design has the
country’s religious and right-wing communities riled up over its prophecy that a
religious revolution will destroy Israel’s modern-day democracy.
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all 77 graduates from the college’s visual communications department have
individual projects on display at this year’s annual graduate exhibition, local
media has pounced on Yossi Even-Kama’s tendentious portrayal of the rise of a
theocratic political system in the years 2020-2023.
The project consists
of four pillars charting Israel’s rightwing revolution. Yearnings for a
religious revolt initially result from an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement
that the right wing opposes. After much violence and bloodshed, the new State of
Judea is founded on the ruins of Israel. On the final pillar calm and peace
reign – since people have lost their civil rights.
Even-Kama’s project –
which critics say uses Nazi imagery – has sparked anger among those on the
Right, who do not appreciate the comparison.
Yesha Council chairman Dani
Dayan sees the array of pictures of large military boots and symbols that
resemble swastikas as taking advantage of people’s xenophobia.
understand that people call it art, but in my view, it is targeted to the most
primitive feelings of the public,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “It raises fear
and hate toward people who are different from you.”
Itzik Rennert, head
of the visual communications department at Shenkar, refuted this view on
Wednesday, telling the Post that while the imagery might be totalitarian, it was
not specifically Nazi.
“Yes, the design is based on the designs of the
1930s and ’40s, but not necessarily in Germany,” he said. “It was a totalitarian
time. The language is familiar, but it’s not the Nazi language, [contrary to]
what people are saying.”
Despite intense pressure from both religious and
non-religious organizations to remove the exhibition, college president and
former education minister Yuli Tamir has refused to take down Even-Kama’s
According to Dayan, Tamir – who arrived at Shenkar College about a
month ago – is using her new position to carry out her “sectarian” and
“I think the most appalling thing about this is that
the person who chairs Shenkar and hosts this hateful display is Yuli Tamir, who
was previously the minister of education and was in charge of educating all our
children,” he said.
Regardless of the political slant, however, Rennert
said the school did not discourage students from expressing their
views. So long as the projects show proper use of design techniques, he
student ideas are welcomed at Shenkar.
“From a visual communications
point of view, it’s a wonderful work that expresses the student’s
said. ”We are a pluralistic academy. We don’t impose our views on our
and we definitely allow them to exercise their freedom of speech.
assure you, and I can assure your readers, that if there was an extreme
rightwing project, we would also enable it,”Rennert added.
not available to comment.