Forward thinking

An art exhibition in Jerusalem brings prophecy to life.

“Prophet Prophet” art exhibition (photo credit: ARI MARRACHE)
“Prophet Prophet” art exhibition
(photo credit: ARI MARRACHE)
Considering the turbulent times, it seems fitting that curators Orian Galster, Porat Solomon and Ronen Yitzchaki, in collaboration with Between Heaven and Earth, Beit Avi Chai and The Jerusalem Foundation, have put together “Prophet Prophet,” an art exhibition that deals with prophecy and the need for a prophet. The exhibition opened last month and will run until November 13.
This exhibition brings an eclectic yet conceptually cohesive array of works by 20 artists ranging in age from mid-20s to late 40s. The artists spent six months in a beit midrash working on the project that now breathes life into the abandoned Arab house at 45 Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood.
As one approaches the venue, one can see Shimon Pinto and Galster’s installation of red white and blue cloths with writing on them tied to the bars of the windows that frame the front door. The colors are the same tones used in Morocco to mark the graves of the holy, which already hints at the unique nature of the exhibition.
As one enters the room, on the right Galster’s installation Rabotai, Mir Vellen Benchen hangs eerily from the ceiling. Three figures made of leaves and flowers, polyfoam and stockings stuffed with plaster are evidently male from the title yet contain feminine qualities, indicating the artist’s view and beliefs about Judaism and feminism.
Yeshayahu Rabinowitz has two pieces on display. One is a red and flesh color leather installation titled A Wound in the Lower Stomach, and the other is a video installation called He Shall Go to Damnation.
A 2008 painting by Shai Azoulay titled Nimrod’s Circumcision is perhaps the most prophetic of all of those displayed. It depicts several haredim performing a circumcision on the scandalous statue of Nimrod by Yitzhak Danziger. A couple of years ago, after Azoulay had done the painting, the Israel Museum decided to place Danziger’s classic sculpture at the center of the newly renovated Israeli Art section of the museum, causing an uproar from the haredim. Prophecy fulfilled? Na’ama Avrech’s Research Lab for Wing Manufacturing brings a touch of fantasy to the exhibition with her installation and performance art, using water, string, music and dance.
Porat Salomon’s Selfie Box has succeeded in combining two contemporary subjects – selfies and ISIS – in one shocking and interesting installation, reflecting the two very different realities of our world.
Raya Bruckenthal’s perfectly detailed pencil on paper piece He’s Back! displays the classic Paramount logo surrounded by fireworks, hinting to the fact that nowadays people idealize Hollywood and not prophets.
Ronen Yitzchaki and the Ka’et Ensemble’s video installation entitled Protective Edge 2014 is the result of this summer’s events, which led to most of the ensemble’s being called up for the IDF’s reserves. Instead of losing inspiration to create, they decided to turn the experience around and filmed a beautiful peaceful dance piece on the border with Gaza while dressed in military uniform.
On November 11 at 6 p.m., Tzfia Dgani and Chaya Ruckin will present their performance workshop called The Great Show of Ezekiel. Their table and props installation, which will be used in the workshop, has been part of the exhibition since it opened and pays homage to artist Marcel Duchamp.
These are just some of the talents and minds that are part of this very timely exhibition.
The closing event on November 13 will be comprised of a performance by a male dance group, followed by Zvi Yechezkeli, Yuval Ben-Ami, Sharon Mayevski, Gideon Levinson and Shosha Greenfeld in a piece called In 2014 I told You That… The evening will close with music by the religious heavy metal band 60 Ribua.
‘Prophet Prophet’ is on display until November 13 at 45 Emek Refaim St., Jerusalem. Weekdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, go to benshamaimlaaretz