This winter, the Israel Museum
launches a series of exhibitions that spotlight a roster of internationally acclaimed and emerging artists from Israel, in the greater context of the international contemporary art scene. COLLECTING DUST in Contemporary Israeli Art examines the work of fifteen artists who transform dust into contemporary works of art exploring temporality, memory, and Israels environmental landscape. Continuing the theme of remembrance is the first-ever retrospective of Gideon Gechtman, whose oeuvre explored how art can act as a posthumous memorial. Also on view is the first solo exhibition in Israel of Mika Rottenberg, whose work examines the role of women in society and the repercussions of an increasingly digital world. Related to this theme, the Museum is presenting an exhibition drawn from its encyclopaedic collections in the fine arts and archaeology that shows, as it were, the "roots" of contemporary art, from prehistory onward. Out of Body: Fragmentation in Art focuses on works of art that were created as distinct parts of the human body, from Egyptian amulets from the third and second millennia BCE through contemporary works by leading contemporary and Israeli artists. All four exhibition are on view from December 3, 2013, through April 5, 2014.
COLLECTING DUST in Contemporary Israeli Art
The pervasive presence of dust as matter or metaphor is the thread that connects the works on view in this exhibition. A century after Marcel Duchamp and Man Rays seminal Dust Breeding, the artists whose works comprise this presentation give their own interpretations of dusts enigmatic nature. Whether focusing on intimate or remote surroundings in the studio, in the city, or in the expanses of the desert they engage with the medium of dust to probe such perennial issues as the passing of time, creation and erosion, presence and absence.
COLLECTING DUST presents 45 works from the last decade by Israeli artists active in the fields of painting, photography, installation, and video, among them Ilit Azoulay, Gilad Efrat, Irit Hemmo, Dana Levy, Micha Ullman, Gal Weinstein, Sharon Ya'ari, and Yuval Yairi. The exhibition is curated by guest curator Tamar Manor-Friedman.
Gal Weinstein's Dust Cloud series (2009), which opens the exhibition, presents clouds of volcanic ash using steel wool in a sequence of quasi-scientific images that develop towards a threatening climax. In his photographic Rashi Street series, Sharon Ya'ari focuses not on the vibrant city of Tel Aviv that constantly reinvents itself, but rather on the fumes of demolition and thunder of urban renovation.
Gideon Gechtman: 19422008
This first retrospective of the work of Israeli artist Gideon Gechtman, five years following his death, examines four decades of his creative oeuvre. It presents approximately 120 objects, encompassing a wide range of mediainstallation, sculpture, painting, photography, video, and print. Gechtman was among the pioneers who introduced radical change into the definition of artistic action in Israel and worldwide. At the age of 31, he underwent open-heart surgery to treat a heart condition that had been diagnosed in his childhood. This seminal event led him to an intense exploration of issues relating to illness, mortality, bereavement, and memory, and of the ways in which works of art can serve as posthumous memorials. In the 1970s, Gechtman began to treat his artistic output as a personal mausoleum, designed to preserve his work and self after his death. Gideon Gechtman is a comprehensive survey of his work in both deeply personal and broadly universal ways.
Gechtman's 2003 work Archive is a mausoleum-like reconstruction of the tiered graves in the cemetery of Port Bou, Spain, the burial place of philosopher and critical theorist Walter Benjamin, to whom the work is dedicated. Contained in the niches are various handmade objects that reference elements of Gechtmans earlier oeuvre and serve as a narrative of his artistic career, preserved in this posthumous installation. The exhibition is curated by Aya Miron, Associate Curator, David Orgler Department of Israeli Art.
Squeeze: Video Works by Mika Rottenberg
The first solo presentation in Israel of video and installation artist Mika Rottenberg, this exhibition presents six video works by the artist, spanning a decade of artistic creativity. Known for her use of the human body in extreme, poetic, and critical ways, Rottenberg creates out-of-the-ordinary assembly lines, in which actresses with unusual physical attributes and abilities become part of an absurd manufacturing process that produces a variety of nameless products using substances such as sweat, hair, and cosmetic powder. Born in Buenos Aires and raised in Tel Aviv, Rottenbergs work examines the role of women in society, the tension between man and machine, and the role of the handmade in an increasingly global, commercial, and hyper-technological age. The exhibition is curated by Amitai Mendelsohn, Curator of the David Orgler Department of Israeli Art.
Out of Body: Fragmentation in Art
Human body parts hands, feet, torsos, and various organs are the subject of this exhibition of approximately 200 works of art and archaeological artifacts from across the Israel Museums collections and on loan from collections in Israel and worldwide. As distinct from a display of objects that were discovered as fragments of ancient artifacts that were once whole, Out of Body focuses on works that were originally created in parts, exploring ways in which diverse cultures rendered aspects of the human body in different periods of time. Objects on display include prehistoric artifacts, Egyptian amulets, Etruscan and Hellenistic votive offerings, European ex-votos, Jewish cult objects, and works of modern and contemporary art in painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation. Featured artists include Hans Bellmer, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Gober, Sigalit Landau, Hila Lulu Lin, Annette Messager, Man Ray, Auguste Rodin, and Sasha Serber, among others. Out of Body is curated by Tanya Sirakovich, Michael Bromberg Head Curator of Prints and Drawings.