‘DAUGHTERS OF JOB.’ (photo credit: Dikla Laor)
(photo credit: Dikla Laor)

Death of the Dead Sea: experience the arts in Israel this month


September 13 – Kippur, War Requiem is a new exhibition curated by Mira Lapidot and Amit Shemma which explores the Yom Kippur war through the perspective of filmmaker and artist Amos Gitai, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The materials collected include personal reels filmed by Gitai; an installation, and a screening of the opening shot of his 2000 film Kippur. Gitai, who was an active duty soldier during the war, was on a helicopter hit by a Syrian missile. By chance, the pilot was able to land in Israel and Gitai was hospitalized. He then escaped from medical care and began a new life, as an artist. Showing until January 13, 2024.

Join a meeting with Lapidot, who will discuss Jewish-American artist George Segal’s exhibition, Sacrifice of Isaac 1973, a work back on display. The original work was placed in Tel Aviv five months before the Yom Kippur War broke out. Segal based the figures in his exhibit on Menashe Kadishman and the Israeli artist’s own son, Ben. The Hebrew discussion will take place on September 19 at 8 p.m. NIS 65 per ticket. Book via phone (03) 6077020. 27 Shaul HaMelech Blvd.

September 13, 20, 27 – Join a one-hour English-language guided tour offered by the Nahum Gutman Museum at 11 a.m. For NIS 40 patrons will get to learn about the life of the famed artist, and be able to enjoy The Blue City and the Future Spyglass exhibition, curated by Monica Lavi. Gutman’s utopian aspect is explored in dialog with other artists such as Asaf Gam Hacohen, Hila Lulu Lin, and poet Rita Kogan, whose poem Tel Aviv Apocalypse is on display. 21 Shimon Rokach St. Call (03) 5161970 to learn more.

Jewish holidays art books

Looking for a present to give on the High Holy Days? Why not consider Women of the Bible, photographer Dikla Laor’s rendition of staged biblical characters from Eve to Jezabel, with the landscapes of the Golan Heights in the background. Each book costs $67. English and Hebrew. For more, diklalaor.photography.

‘ITLIZ HARUCHOT’ (credit: David Duvshani)
‘ITLIZ HARUCHOT’ (credit: David Duvshani)

Artist Gary Goldstein has released a new art book, Titled Bunker, a re-creation of one of his original sketchbooks and a profound examination of his relationship with his parents. Having left home at 18 years of age, the 73-year-old artist now takes a hard look at memory and loss. NIS 140 per copy. The work is in English. Contact goldsteinanat@gmail.com to order your copy. 

Artist David Duvshani and writer Julia Fermentto-Tzaisler recently released Itliz HaRuchot (Ghost Butcher Shop), a graphic novel that serves as a meeting point for their respective interests. Previously, Fermentto has written about the metaphor of meat in Hebrew and Yiddish literature; and since his exhibition at Raw Art Gallery three years ago, Duvshani has developed his unique style of depicting harsh things in a colorful, bright way. Back then, he depicted real anecdotes about Baldwin of Jerusalem, who caught a cold after swimming in the Nile, and the Emir of Damascus, Buri, who died when he tried to mount a horse. The current work is an exploration of a missing persons case; a haredi butcher shop; and Jewish anarchic imagination all rolled into one. Hebrew book. NIS 60. Write to tangierpublishing@gmail.com to secure your copy. Not suitable for children.    

Art news

Musara – Two graduates of the Jerusalem art school presented their works during the Ars Electronica festival in Austria which ended on Sunday, September 10. They are Shelly Reizis (Entering a Room and Seeing All Those Same Faces Again) and Ilay Skutlesky (Noctam.jpg). International readers, note that the school’s residency program is now open (deadline October 30, 2 p.m. Israel time). The artists selected will be able to live and create in the capital for two weeks (February 15-28, 2024) with all their costs covered (flights, housing, per diem). There are five spots on the program. Contact danh@musrara.co.il to learn more.

‘Three months’ – The new artwork by Nitsan Mayost was presented by the artists during the Imagine a Moment festival, September 6-9 at Tmuna Theater. At his exhibition last February, Mayost presented letters he wrote to Ofer Bloch when he served as CEO of Shufersal. In these letters, Mayost informed Bloch of just how much food was being wasted by the supermarket chain. 

In his recent exhibit, Mayost continues the deliberately naïve position of addressing people in authority while documenting his actions. He appealed to Israel Chemicals Ltd (now ICL Group Ltd) with the following idea in mind. Due to the ongoing destruction of the Dead Sea, every 90 days the sea recedes by 10 meters, exposing new land. Ergo, he offered, would they not like to sponsor his idea to celebrate the creation of a new beach? 

Armed with a suit, a podium, and what seems like endless amounts of patience, Mayost presents us with his official emails and phone conversations with company workers. These are presented on a loop of scrolling laptop screens with video projections of his speech, delivered with his feet planted on the shallow edge of the dying ancient sea. The result is something Freud described as unheimleich (uncanny, the unease we feel when the familiar becomes strange). This is often encountered when genres are abruptly changed or when social roles are violated. Since the theme of the festival is Imagine a Moment, we are never quite sure who is really speaking to us. Is Mayost speaking to an official company worker? Or to an actress?   

There is something deeply disturbing about the work. Unlike, for example, Michael Moore, who attempted to film then-National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston acknowledging gun violence in the US in his 2002 film Bowling for Columbine, Mayost does not offer us the relief of laughter. We cannot walk away from our responsibility to this land. 

Shown but briefly, as the festival ended on September 9, it was a powerful testimony to the important cultural work done by curators Itai Doron and Erez Maayan Shalev.  

Art Roundup is a monthly glance at some of the art exhibitions and events currently shown across the country. Artists, curators, and collectors are welcome to send pitches to hagayhacohen@yahoo.com with ‘Art Roundup’ in the subject line.

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