After a successful Biennale in 2017, with 231 participating artists from 12 different countries, The Biennale is going on a tour!! We were was invited to send an exhibition to the LUZ Art gallery in Los Angeles and The Leichtag Foundation Gallery in San Diego. The exhibition Watershed Moments will be on display in Los Angeles from November 1st until November 25th, and in San Diego from November 29th (closing date unknown).
Curator: Ram Ozeri, founding director of The Jerusalem Biennale
Exhibition Consultant: Anne Hromadka Greenwald
Lili Almog, Bill Aron, Yehudis Barmatz, Marcelle Tehila Bitton, Matan Ben-Tolila, Rachel Koskas, Eliad Landau, Tamar Paley, Avi Roth, Avner Sher, Ruth Weisberg, Arik Weiss.
Opening event performance: Doni Silver Simons
A Duration, A Tide
Performance by Doni Silver Simons
Opening Event, November 1, 6:30pm
Luz Art Gallery
8373 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
The exhibition Watershed Moments is an attempt to depict some of the core issues of current Jewish discourse. The works presented here were selected from hundreds of artworks that were displayed as part of the Jerusalem Biennale 2017. Each of the works is, or can be interpreted as, a visual comment on a pressing question. Viewed together, the pieces in the exhibition portray an era of revival. It is not only that Jewish discourse is more vivid, but also that new participants are now taking part in it. Watershed Moments demonstrates how artists, and art, can become part of the discussion usually dominated by academics, rabbis and politicians.
Lili Almog’s work at first glance appears to deal extremism. The almost wholly covered figure (we can only assume it is a woman) provokes the immediate association of radical Islam. Placing those works in the context of a Biennale of Contemporary Jewish Art might suggest the topic is of relevance to present Jewish life as well. The juxtaposition of works from two different series- Seasons and Drawing Room, forces us to pay attention to the tension between the private space (the studio) and the public space (outside landscape).
Avner Sher’s work is based on ancient maps of Jerusalem. They define the historic center of Jerusalem as a focal point. The works themselves, as well as the curatorial decision to exhibit them in the Tower of David Museum within the Old City of Jerusalem, raises the question of the relative importance of Jerusalem as a place, and in a broader way: the significance of The Land.
Yehudis Barmatz’s and Matan Ben-Tolila’s works give us insight into individual journeys along the religious-secular spectrum. Each of them made a significant personal move along that continuum, and their autobiographical stories are profoundly present in their work. The works do not attempt to say anything definitive about the social and political conflicts between the religious and the secular, but rather captures a moment in one individual’s journey of she’ela (questioning) or t’shuva (returning/answering).
Eliad Landau’s work highlights the ongoing tension between the spiritual and material. It confronts the typical identification of Judaism exclusively with spirituality, emphasising that some of the ideas and practices of Jewish tradition are intended to address material aspects of life.
Arik Weiss’s installation is an invitation to discuss the meaning of traditional symbols and the effect of visual objects on our memory and consciousness. Tamar Paley created symbols of her own, highlighting the connection between the function of symbolic items and the vast subject of gender.
The exhibition was generously supported by the Leichtag Foundation. We thank the Luz Art Gallery for hosting it in Los Angeles. We also want to thank the Rosenbach Contemporary Gallery in Jerusalem for cosponsoring the exhibition.