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The Sleepless Night Of Hedva Shemesh - The Exhibition (23.12.04)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alina Abramov, Video instalation "The Academy"


Amit First


Andrey lev, Inna Polonsky. Instalation "The charm of dogmatim"


Andrey lev, Inna Polonsky. Instalation "The charm of dogmatim"


Andrey lev, Inna Polonsky. Instalation "The charm of dogmatim"


Andrey lev, Inna Polonsky. Instalation "The charm of dogmatim"


Andrey Lev


Anna Epstein


Anna Epstein "The rat" & "The fish"


Boris Shpeizman


Boris Shpeizman "The lingerie"


Dimitry Patt


Dimitry Patt "Instalation"


Hanan Abu Husein


Inna Polonsky "Golden key"


Jonathan Hirschfeld "Jungle"


Lena Ruth Yukelson " Harbour "


Masha Duchovnaya


Masha Duchovnaya


Max Epstein "Black flower"


Max Epstein "The birds"


Max Epstein, from instalation " The shooting gallery"


Nataly Volkovich - Kusnetsova from "Little Gulliver" seria


Zoya Lozinsky


Zoya Lozinsky. Instalation "The edge of the dream"

Abu Husein, Hanan | Inna Polonsky | Andrey Lev | Zoya tozinsky | Nataly Volkovich-Kusnetsova | Max Epstein | Anna Epstein | Lev Goltser | Lena-Ruth Yukelson | Boris Shpeizman | Dimitry Patt | Masha Duchovnaya | Amit First | Alina Abramov | Jonathan Hirschfeld


ON THE NEW JERUSALEM ART STAGE
A. HEDVA

(excerpts from an interview with Hedva Shemesh - "Context", 2003)

Hedva Shemesh is a well-known Israeli artist and public figure. She heads the Israeli committee of AIAP, the UNESCO sponsored federation of artists' associations. She works closely with the Jerusalem Artists House, which is affiliated to AIAP. Beyond that, she is director and curator of the "New Gallery", which is located within the confines of Jerusalem's "Teddy" soccer stadium. Noncommercial galleries are in rapid decline, and we therefore chose to discuss this element of her work.

When and how was the New Gallery founded?
Hedva: Some years ago, a proposal was floated to organize workshops for artists - don't forget, it's more than a mere gallery, there are 11 workshops. It's a major problem in this city - throughout the country in fact - for young artists at the start of their career. We tried to find an empty space suitable for adaptation for such workshops. This location is unusual, apparently unfitted for art - bare concrete walls, ceiling beams, supporting columns. But we decided that a blending of artwork with such a space - constituting the antithesis of any concept of aesthetics - could be intriguing.

Who else was involved, apart from you?
Hedva: The municipality, its culture and art department. This place wouldn't exist were it not for the vision of a few individuals, serious art lovers like Shlomi Brosh. It was he who pushed through the entire project. The idea was to offer young artists support and opportunity .

Artists' withdrawal, their retreat into the confines of their workspace - that's also a problem these days. It's different here, there's open dialogue, and I find that more to the point .

We wanted all these small spaces - the workshops - linked up with a larger space - the gallery. Each artist withdraws into his workshop and creates something, and then we see the overall outcome and that's a real pleasure. The gallery isn't private, allowing for exhibits of groups of artists - not tl1~ routine group exhibit showing the works of several artists. Instead, we exhibit groups that experiment, seeking after something new ...

The main direction is to provide groups with new ideas a working environment where they can create and exhibit. In future too, potential groups will be able to work together, possibly blazing new trails in art. The aim is to give them, at the very least, a stage for their first exhibit, after that they may take an entirely different course. In fact, that's what happens here.


 

B. US
We stole towards one another, finding each other .like lunatics in a crowd. It's said they take no more than 20 minutes to find one another in a crowd of 5000. There were numerous places to seek them out: Bezalel, where almost all these artists studied, Co -Art (a gallery of that name did exist once in Jerusalem) where most of them exhibited, the Jerusalem apartments which also serve as workshops, where wonderfully beautiful works were created almost fortuitously, with kids growing up amidst the "gang". Artists got together, split up, got together again - artists of a similar mind set. They sometimes made the mistake of taking someone as "one of us", only to discover that he was "one of them ".

In the spring of 2004, something resembling a group got together, spelling out its credo :

an exibit as a single display, rather than individual artists showing off the achievement; consequently, new work is to be displayed, created especially for the present exhibition and conforming to a certain concept ;

A declaration affirming the aesthetics of beauty, in contrast with the aesthetics of ugliness so long predominant ;

The presence of a craft element, in the basic, favorable sense of the term: precision, cleanliness, finish;

Long-term work, as an essential element of our labors - anything created over a prolonged time span absorbs the time span absorbs thedevoted to it, unlike that which is created in haste;

These principles were expressed in numerous texts composed at the time by me and the artists themselves. The texts included my introduction to the catalogue of the exhibition "Paradise - Inversion", Albert Suissa's introduction to the "LO.S" exhibition, and Andrei Lev's articles in the journal "Context".


 

C. HEDVA AND US
Suffice it to put together the contents of A. and B. to make it plain that it was out of question not to get together.


 

D. THE EXHIBITION
Our group, barely formed, began to expand half a y I' ago, and is now growing at lightning speed. We hop s a sign of basic changes in train in the Jerusalem art scene.

We defined these changes as the launching of a new Jerusalem art stage. Of course, that isn't the name of a group, but it may become the overall appellation a novel cultural manifestation.

Meanwhile, it is of course difficult to foresee what will come of all this, but the current exhibition is not a "group exhibit", it's more like "group activity". At least one of our principles - exhibiting as a single body - is maintained.

As for similarity of aesthetic outlook - that too is not unequivocal. It all happened so quickly there was no time to go into it in depth, though I believe that everyone accepts the aesthetics of beauty and technical precision.

But rather than focus on what has been, it is more important to look at what has appeared, likewise unexpectedly.

For a long time, over several years, we convinced ourselves and others that there is no particular tension in Jerusalem life, and if there is, it has nothing to do with us, we have other concerns. In this exhibition, we witnessed a kind of aesthetic game aimed at a small group of individuals who knew each other well (which gave rise to the title). But unnoticed by us, the game became much more, and it turned out that matters were not as we had believed.

The tension exists, in this case it erupted in spite of the barriers we tried to erect it hits you in the eye - the weapons, death, flaming red contrasting with the green, the vibrant black, and gold, lots of gold.

We were wrong to ignore what was happening. Tension is a sign, a symbol, the essence of Jerusalem art, which distinguishes it from any other art. But it can only be expressed in art, not in political slogans masquerading as art - of this we are convinced.

Some time back I g e impression that the artists I was working with incline towards decadence. Now, it's clearly otherwise: to employ the terms of old art inclines towards Gothic ecstasy, and a form of Baroque exploding from within. It is as yet unclear how this should be defined in the terms of modern art.

That is the best of all possible worlds. The situation: in process, in development, in motion. As Yevgeny Schwartz wrote in his play "Dragon": "And to Mr. Dragon commanded the reply: 'We'll see ..' "

Marina Genkina, Curator


The Sleepless Night of Hedva Shemesh

The exhibition entitled "The Sleepless Night of Hedva Shemesh" that opened last Thursday at The New Gallery is in many ways unusual. As soon as one enters the space of the gallery, there is a strong feeling of 'elsewhere' that emerges from the aesthetic of the works on display, the majority of them having been created by twelve artists of Russian origin, all living in Jerusalem, that sees themselves as a group with a specific program. One also senses the odd dialogue, that the show tries to initiate between the group and the three other 'local' Israeli artists whose aesthetics contradicts most of the group's beliefs. And thirdly, unlike most of the exhibitions that take place at the New Gallery, "The Sleepless Night of Hedva Shemesh" will last only for a week. This exhibition is in fact an in-between exhibition, it was born out of a strong desire to exhibit at all cost even for a week, one could call this an exercise in survival skill, one that is imperative to what Edward W. Said's calls the exilic intellectual. In his 1993 lecture entitled "Intellectual Exile: Expatriates and Marginals", Said sees exile not only as an actual condition but as a metaphorical condition in which the intellectual is at odds with the society in which he lives. This feeling of being marginals, of "never being fully adjusted, always feeling outside the chatty, familiar world inhabited by natives" is something that is openly admitted by the members of the group and that reverberate through their works. All of the artists of Russian origin, except for Nataly Volkovich-Kusnetsova who graduated in Moscow, graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design mostly from the Ceramic and Glass Design Department but also from the Photography and Art Department and yet, all of them feel outsiders to the mainstream Israeli art discourse. This subjective and internal exile is a matter of fact that is objectively enhanced by their geographic location. It is known reality that Jerusalem has been suffering from an exilic cultural condition for more than twenty years with regard to the local art discourse, mainly taking place in 'Tel Aviv Rabati'. There is not one artist, curator or critic that lives and creates in Jerusalem that is not aware of this painful state of things. Essentially it isn't a lack of high quality artists or a lack of alternative cultural activities, with the city witnessing in the last three years the Heara events organized by Sala-Manca and those organized by Hazira, but the lack of a strong infrastructure of galleries reinforced by financial capital which is at the root of this endemic condition. Most of the artists in the show agree with this. We are then talking of multiple exiles: from the homeland, from what they define as the 'local' aesthetic and from the hegemonic discourse. The exile "as a median state, neither completely at one with the new setting nor fully disencumbered of the old . nostalgic and sentimental" in Said's words is visible from the outset, whether it takes the form of an outspoken and dogmatic stand as in the sculptures of Inna Polonsky and paintings of Andrey Lev which seek a pseudo aristocratic look or whether like in Masha Duchovnaya's photography it transforms the familiar landscape of Jerusalem into a personal mysterious and gothic world. All of the works of the group are characterized by a strong aesthetic of beauty and a craft element with entail precision, finish and time-patient labor, says Marina Genkina, the curator of the show who immigrated from Russia in 1990, and has been working at the library of the Israel Museum since 1991. For Boris Shpeizman what is important is his dexterity in handling and struggling with his materials, glass and copper, for Dimitry Patt it is his almost fetishistic love for mysterious, semi-medical objects that are his own creations, and for Max Epstein it is autobiographical memories encapsulated in the snapshot of a young boy pointing a gun at him. All the artists reject the use of Ready-Made objects, the aesthetic of "ugliness" and what they call "political art" all what in their mind characterize Israeli art. Their strict rules of aesthetic is their political statement and thus the strange dialogue that takes place in the gallery with the works of Amit First, Hanan Abu Hussein's piles of Palestinian school books and Jonathan Hirschfeld's paintings that deals with fascist aesthetic and male power in a way that does not bind to their aesthetic rules. A few weeks ago when Marina Genkina who had curated a year ago at the New Gallery, a show entitled Paradise approached Hedva Shemesh, the latter who sees her space as a kind of laboratory where new dialogues and interactions should take place, proposed Genkina to choose works from artists who have a workshop at the gallery as a way to brake their isolation. Genkina accepted the challenge but lack of time rendered the task difficult, she admits, adding that in spite of the fact that Ready-Mades are totally unacceptable, Abu Hussein books acts as a welcome contrapuncto. What is unanimous among all of the artists sharing the space for this very short lapse of time, is their warm feelings towards Shemesh. The name of the show says Genkina is in homage to Hedva Shemesh, the only person who pursued a dialog with the group for a couple of years and has offered them a place to exhibit their work, never missing an opening they admitted that The New Gallery had become a home to them. On December 30, this coming Thursday and the closing night of the show, they warmly invite the public to share with them a marathon night of music and video festival starting at 9 p.m and lasting until dawn, putting in practice Shemesh wish for dialogue and maybe making a step into breaking their exilic status.

From the newspapers - Ariane Littman-Cohen


Abu Husein, Hanan
b. 1972.
lives in Jerusalem.
1992-1995 Goren Art School, Emek Israel College;
2000 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem, Art Department ;
Management of Cultural Institutes, Lahav College and Tel University .

Prizes:
1998-200 Sharet Fund Prize; Israel.


Inna Polonsky

b. 1968 .
lives in Jerusalem.

1999 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Ceramic & Glass Department.

Prizes:
1996 Sharet Fund Prize, Israel;

1997 Rosenblum Prize, Israel;
2001 Rothschild Prize, London, England.


Andrey Lev

b. 1974 .
lives in Jerusalem.

1991-93 studied at Leningrad State Mathematical University, Mechanical - Department.
1999 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, the Department of Art.


Zoya tozinsky

b. 1977.
lives in Jerusalem.

2002 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Ceramic & Glass Design Department.


Nataly Volkovich-Kusnetsova

b. 1955.
lives in Bney Aish.

1985 graduated from The Moscow V.I.Surikov State Art Institute, Painting Department.

Since 1991 member of Artist Union of the USSR.
Since 1994 member of International Association of Art (AIAP) UNESCO.

Prizes:
1994 - The Shoshana and Mordechai Ish-Shalom Prize for painting , Israel;
1996 - Scholarship Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of Land Schlesvig-Holdstain, Germany;
2003 - Prize of Israel Ministry of Culture "Cite International des Arts" (Paris)


Max Epstein
b. 1974.
lives in Jerusalem.
1997 - graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Ceramic Department.

1999-2000 Open Seminar of Photography, Ramar Gan.

Prizes:
1994 Sharet Fund Prize; Israel.


Anna Epstein
b. 1973.
Lives in Jerusalem.
2000 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Jewelry Department.

Prizes:
1996 Sharet Fund Prize; Israel.


Lev Goltser
b. 1975.
Lives in Moshav Nir-Hen, Shaar a-Negev.
2000 graduated Negev College, Cinema Unit


Lena-Ruth Yukelson
b. 1978.
Lives in Jerusalem.
2002 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Ceramic & Glass Department.


Boris Shpeizman
Lives in Jerusalem.
graduated from Dental School, St.Peterbourg
2004 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Ceramic & Glass Department.


Dimitry Patt
b. 1978.
Lives in Jerusalem.
2004 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Ceramic & Glass Department.


Masha Duchovnaya
b. 1977.
Lives in Jerusalem.
2004 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, Photography Department.


Amit First
b. 1972.
Lives in Jerusalem.
2002 graduated from "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, the Department of Art.


Alina Abramov
b. 1973.
Lives in France.


Jonathan Hirschfeld
b. 1979.
Lives in Jerusalem.
1997 graduated Art Hight School.

2004 graduated "Bezalel" Academy of Arts & Design, the Department of Art.

 

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