Guy Ben-Ner, Tali Keren, Mika Rottenberg, Gilad Ratman
The Jewish Museum | 1109 5th Ave at 92nd Street
Curated by Chen Tamir
Sights and Sounds: Israel features new work by Guy Ben-Ner, Tali Keren, Mika Rottenberg, and Gilad Ratman, selected by Chen Tamir.
Next to high technology, weapons, and produce, video art seems to be one of Israel’s major exports. Israeli video art did not develop in the late 1960s, as in North America and Europe, but rather emerged as a serious medium in the mid-1990s, largely influenced by mass media. In the early nineties, following the shift to a free-market economy, Israel went virtually overnight from having one black-and-white state-run television station to piping hundreds of cable channels to almost every household. The sudden mass exposure to networks from the United States, such as CNN and MTV, coincided with the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf, the first Palestinian Intifada, and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Israelis began to see themselves from a new perspective: as filtered through the international news.
During this time, and not coincidentally, the hi-tech sector in Israel flourished and video cameras and VCRs started to become accessible. Against this backdrop, artists working today were coming of age and negotiating their social and political environment. Naturally, their work has often focused on the intersection of the personal and the political within Israeli society.
The four works gathered here do not directly document conflict; instead, they take a more fanciful approach, using highly constructed scenarios that may be read as allegories. Each takes a banal, everyday situation and infuses it with a fantastical narrative. All share underlying motifs of transformation and metamorphosis.
Chen Tamir (b. Tel Aviv, 1979) is the curator of the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv and associate director of Artis. She was previously executive director of Flux Factory, New York. She holds a Master’s degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and has organized shows across Canada, the United States, and Israel.
Sat - Tues 11:00 AM - 5:45 PM
Thurs 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Fri 11:00 AM - 5:45 PM