About Art: A multi-screen manifesto and a group exhibit on intimacy

A round-up of some of the most intriguing art on display in the country this month

CATE BLANCHETT in Julian Rosefeldts’s ‘Manifesto.’ (Elie Posner/Israel Museum Jerusalem) (photo credit: ELIE POSNER / ISRAEL MUSEUM)
CATE BLANCHETT in Julian Rosefeldts’s ‘Manifesto.’ (Elie Posner/Israel Museum Jerusalem)
Julian Rosefeldt - ‘Manifesto’
In this powerful exhibition, visual artist Julian Rosefeldt recruited actress Cate Blanchett to create a contemporary interpretation of some of the most compelling 20th-century manifestos. Rosefeldt captivates his audience by means of enthralling monologues on the backdrop of diverse settings and personae, all performed by Blanchett, and adapted the furious, ideological writings to modernity to examine how they stood the test of time. 
Rosefeldt created his multi-screen Manifesto in 2015 and toured the world with it ever since, showcasing it in more than 20 locations. 
According to MutualArt, an Israel-based global art data platform, the German-born artist is not only known for his vivid and elaborate installation films, but also for his photography. His Soap Sample VI is currently being auctioned at Christie’s Online for an estimated £4,000.
In 2013, Rosefeldt’s Stunned Man (Trilogy of Failure II) – a 30-minute loop film questioning mundane, everyday life – was sold at Christie’s Amsterdam “Post-War & Contemporary Art” for a respectable $11,783.
Julian Rosefeldt – Manifesto
January 16-November 2, 2019
Nathan Cummings Building for Modern and Contemporary Art
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Hiroshi Sugimoto
One of the most unique and prominent contemporary photography artists, Hiroshi Sugimoto, makes his Israel debut with this breathtaking exhibition. Sugimoto’s style and technique create artworks that transcend the reality the lens proposes and invites the observer to be drawn into a two-dimensional image until one begins to recognize life and movement in the apparent stills. The Japanese artist employs uncompromising minimalism in his mostly black and white photographs, whose subjects range from nature and wildlife to architecture and portraits. The same minimalism was used to design this exhibition space – which was planned by Sugimoto himself – and creates a sense of being part of one of Sugimoto’s photographs.
The untitled exhibition is a collection of Sugimoto’s best works from the beginning of his career to date and is divided into five distinct categories, each representing different subjects and styles.
Sugimoto’s talent is corroborated by his incredible success at auctions worldwide. Being featured regularly at the most prestigious auction houses, such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, the yearly revenue of Sugimoto’s works ranks in the millions, according to MutualArt’s data.
In 2007, a series of photographs capturing the horizon between different seas and the sky was sold for a whopping $1,888,000 USD.
Hiroshi Sugimoto
November 15, 2018-June 08, 2019
Lily & Yoel Moshe Elstein Multi-Purpose Gallery Herta and Paul Amir Building
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Part of Hiroshi Sugimoto's exhibition (credit: Elad Sarig)
Part of Hiroshi Sugimoto's exhibition (credit: Elad Sarig)
‘Keeping at Distance’: On Intimacy in Contemporary Painting
This carefully curated group exhibition at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art focuses on the birth process of artworks and the relationship the artist develops with his creation along the way. The exhibition gathers 17 different Israeli artists – some more established, some at the beginning of their career – who use different media to express their inspiration. Curator Liza Gershuni expresses the thread connecting the seemingly unrelated art as the “intimate, latent, at times highly specific yet always basic experience of being-in-this-world.”
While normally, the artist takes backstage once he finishes his piece of art, Keeping at Distance puts him back in the spotlight and at the center of the cultural experience. The observer’s view is shifted from interpreting what is seen, to experiencing the process the artist undergoes in his journey to completion and the many emotions and processes that come with it. Ultimately, the exhibition builds a story around a thought-through idea and brilliantly incorporates fine art into the narrative.
Keeping at Distance: On Intimacy in Contemporary Painting
Curator: Liza Gershuni
March 14-June 26, 2019
Petach Tikva Museum of Art
Yedidya Hershberg,A Man, 2015, from Keeping at Distance (credit: Yedidya Hershberg)
Yedidya Hershberg,A Man, 2015, from Keeping at Distance (credit: Yedidya Hershberg)
Ilit Azoulay – ‘Regarding Silences’
Regarding Silences is the product of some 8 years of research and artistic work by Ilit Azoulay. Azoulay uses her camera to “listen” to the lenses’ visuals, searching for the reality beyond plain sight. While Azoulay’s objective is similar to Sugimoto’s, the creations are completely different. Azoulay’s work results in surreal composite images, combining thousands of photographs into one, paying attention to every detail in the final product.
In Regarding Silences, Azoulay documented the renovation of a structure in Zichron Ya’acov in northern Israel – today known as the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel –, and uncovered the deep and traumatic past of what once served as an interrogation camp for Israeli prisoners-of-war soldiers following the Yom Kippur War. The artworks reflect this process in a carefully designed exhibition space that includes a fully green-painted room to immerse the audience in the surrealistic experience of these soldiers.
Azoulay’s talent has earned her international acclaim, ranking first in MoMa’s “New Photography 2015” list, and selling her creations for 5-digit sums at the best auction houses in the world. MutualArt registered two of her works auctioned at $12,000 and $16,000 by Tiroche in January of this year.
Ilit Azoulay – Regarding Silences
February 21-April 18, 2019
The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv
The "Green Room" in Ilit Azoulay's Regarding Silences (credit: Eyal Avigayev)
The "Green Room" in Ilit Azoulay's Regarding Silences (credit: Eyal Avigayev)
Micha Ullman – ‘Semi-Detached’
Semi-Detached is part of a group exhibition at the Herzliya Museum termed Scene of Events. Nine solo exhibitions present daily realities in ways that they’re not usually thought about, creating a different perspective on subjects we are faced with on a regular basis.
Micha Ullman, in Semi-Detached, recreated a blueprint of his residential home by means of red hamra sand. Shaping it in ways that the audience understands what “rooms” it finds itself in, Ullman provokes a thought-process that necessarily leads to the questioning of urbanization, the individual’s role in it and the incessant drive of modernity.
The exhibition does not portray art, but is the art itself. The vulnerability of the installation, which is not reinforced or protected, demands the visitors’ utmost care and attention, further invoking questions one might fail to notice in his daily routine.
Micha Ullman | Semi-Detached | Scene of Events
December 22, 2018-April 27, 2019
The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art
Micha Ullman's exhibition Semi-Detached (credit: Avraham Hay)
Micha Ullman's exhibition Semi-Detached (credit: Avraham Hay)