What about women’s rights?

Certainly an exhibition well worth a visit in northern Israel.

Igor Kruter's work ‘Madi.’ (photo credit: Courtesy)
Igor Kruter's work ‘Madi.’
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A wide-ranging show in content and media, the current exhibition at Grand-ART, curiously nestled within the Grand Canyon shopping center in Haifa, makes for intriguing viewing.
The would-be gallery-goer will quite easily discern that the major theme is an exploration of womanhood in Israel and the Middle East from various perspectives.
Consider the work by Igor Kruler, an artist who uses photography to explore female IDF soldiers clutching some feminine object and embedded in the land, as it were. It appears the artist deals with the role usually reserved for men, namely fighting and the army, and yet at the same time suggests that the feminine quality of women in such roles is always there. Then there are woman in other guises: Abir Sultan’s photographs “capture” ultra-Orthodox women all clad in black in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim – ghosts of the night that shuffle through the streets, their bodies a shadow, their existence ephemeral.
Gil Nechushtan explores a different, perhaps more unconventional and rebellious modality with his photographs of a Moroccan girl breaking taboos by riding a motorcycle in the street. Other images appear to tell fascinating tales of colliding narratives: refugees; cultures clashing and reorganizing into new states of being, as the female body is contorted, celebrated and tragically, even violently, abused.
The video piece by Hannan Abu Hussein is captivating. It is a theatrical, performance-art piece, while the craft of video allows elements of drawing, sequencing and the silent, visual play to arrest the viewer’s attention. What it meant was not altogether clear. It left me with a sense of a kind of juggling act required of the female protagonist as the proverbial “she” is expected to be wife, lover, mother, career woman and so on.
Such are a few examples and one should be left with a sense both of the power of woman as well as the fact that society still has a long road ahead to ensure equality, respect and dignity to all.
Certainly an exhibition well worth a visit here in the North.
The exhibit runs until June 12.