Spinning the pottery wheel

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art presents Israeli video artist Ben Hagari’s new work, ‘Potter’s Will’

By JESSICA VRAZILEK
April 16, 2016 22:34
2 minute read.
Ben Hagari

Ben Hagari. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s new exhibition, of the work Potter’s Will, 2015-16 by Israeli-born artist Ben Hagari, features an innovative sideby- side video and sculptural installation.

The work, which is on show through July 2 and is concurrently being exhibited at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, has received The 2015 Chami Fruchter Prize for an Emerging Israeli Video Artist from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“This is the first time a collaboration of this kind has taken place in Israel, with one prize in two places, and it is important for an Israeli artist to get this international exposure” said Fruchter.

The intriguing exhibition displays a rotating pottery studio set that has been extracted from scenes in the adjacent film. In his video, Hagari focuses on the craft of pottery, and references ancient myths pertaining to the birth of the pot, the birth of man, creator and creation.

“In all of his films Hagari enacts various figures that transpire in space in a mechanical, inhuman or near-human manner. The figures perform a set of actions with their eyes shut, a hint at their subconscious, dreamlike, liberated state” said the curator of the exhibition, Anat Danon-Sivan.

Hagari’s trademark focus is especially marked in Potter’s Will, where Hagari emphasizes the relationship between the inanimate world and the animal world by delicately articulating the cyclical process of creation, where man is formed, emerges from the clay and in the end returns to an inanimate state.

The Potter’s Will exhibition space is separated into a film screening and installation, and in the video itself, Hagari forms a symbolic division into two worlds – a metaphoric heaven and hell. The first, the “upper world,” is modern and technical, containing a potter’s studio set, which is also the installation to the viewers’ right. The stage shows props, including a transistor radio, potter’s wheel, clay pots, ladder and the potter-creator (acted by renowned American potter Paul Chaleff).

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Presented as a sanctuary, the potter’s studio stage rotates, as the potter molds the clay to create the first pot.

The camera plunges into the darkness of the spinning pot, and emerges to show the primeval “underworld” where the clay pot has been transformed into a human man who moves toward the fiery kiln. The film shows the crackling fire and the physical installation spins.

The rotating set was inspired by Hagari’s visit to Black Maria, the world’s first motion-picture studio, in New Jersey.

Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the kinetograph (the first motion-picture camera) and the kinetoscope (motion-picture viewing device), set up this unique studio in 1893 to shoot his first films. In the absence of sufficient artificial lighting, Edison built a revolving studio with an open roof that rotated on a circular track and moved according to the position of the sun to maximize use of natural light.

“Hagari’s attempt to return to a primal moment, through inversion of the traditional technology of the potter’s wheel, bears great likeness to Edison’s motivation and ingenuity” said Danon-Sivan.

For more info about the exhibit visit www.

tamuseum.org.il.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

October 16, 2018
Balad to boycott Knesset due to Nation-State Law

By GIL HOFFMAN