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Tsibi Geva selected to represent Israel at the 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia
Tsibi Geva, Untitled, diptych, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 200x300 cm.


JERUSALEM.- Tsibi Geva has been selected to present Archeology of the Present for the Israeli Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Geva, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, is one of Israel’s most prominent and influential artists, and has exhibited extensively in major exhibitions across Israel, America, and Europe. Geva works in diverse media, his work often pushing beyond its physical limits into unique large-scale site- specific installations.

Archeology of the Present will cover both the exterior and interior of the Pavilion, and will encompass the formal and thematic characteristics of Geva’s work as it has evolved throughout his career. In a year when curator Okuwi Enwezor, proposes to focus on All the World’s Futures, Geva’s site-specific, all-encompassing installation may also be read with regard to the current state of humanity and the world.

Geva’s work contains numerous layers of significance shaped by processes of figuration and abstraction, revelation and concealment. The question of painting in particular, and of the art object in general, is present in his work alongside political and cultural questions, which simultaneously camouflage and enhance one another. Employing disruption and displacement, repetition and accumulation, Geva makes hybrid works that open up new discursive channels.

Archeology of the Present will present paintings alongside sculptural installations and abandoned and manipulated objects, while abolishing the hierarchical distinctions between artistic mediums and structure. In doing so, it will give expression to Geva’s ongoing concern with elements related to the notion of ‘home’ – including terrazzo tiles, windows, shutters, lattices, cement blocks; elements which exist as fragments of what once was or could in principle constitute a home. The work will destabilise the familiar division between inside and outside, the functional and the representational, high and low. Through this presentation, the project will raise self-reflexive artistic concerns and epistemological questions, as well as political and cultural questions of locality and immigration, hybrid identity, existential anxiety and existence in an age of instability.

Curator Hadas Maor said, ‘With interior and exterior present both formally and metaphorically, the entire pavilion will be a distinct sphere – an archive of consciousness, and an accumulation that reflects a sense of anxiety and threat. The physical layout will create sharp transitions between experiences of blockage, discomfort, and spatial ambiguity and between intimate, poetic moments, so that fragility and crudeness, lyricism and violence, are inextricably intertwined. Tsibi Geva’s long-term engagement with issues of the stratified structure of identity, and Archeology of the Present in particular, will offer an opportunity to explore this notion within the wider narrative of nationality as proposed by the Venice Biennale.’

Tsibi Geva is one of Israel’s most prominent and influential artists. Born in 1951 on Kibbutz Ein Shemer, Israel, he lives and works in Tel Aviv. Since 1979 he has exhibited solo shows in numerous venues around the world, including the Kunsthaus Zürich; Orangerie Herrenhausen, Hannover; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The American University Museum, Washington, DC; Macro Testaccio Museum, Rome (travelling to Mönchenhaus – Museum of Modern Art in Goslar, Germany, in July 2015); the Haifa Museum of Art; the Ashdod Art Museum, Monart Center; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and a retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Geva was represented in 1990–2006 by Anina Nosei Gallery in New York, where his work was featured in numerous solo exhibitions. He has participated in group exhibitions in major museums and galleries worldwide, including White Cube, New York; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Espacio Aglutinador, Havana, Cuba; The Israel Museum of Art; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem; and CCA Andrtax, Mallorca. He is a professor at the University of Haifa and at Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Sandberg Prize from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Pundick Prize from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture.






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