The Absent Body [Closed]

Eight Israeli Artists

Opening: July 12, 2012

Exhibition Curator: Irena Gordon

The Absent Body – Body Imagery Between Judaism and Christianity in the Work of Eight Israeli Artists:

Etti Abergel, Larry Abramson, Pesi Girsch, Moshe Gershuni, Erez Israeli, Sigalit Landau, Motti Mizrachi, Michal Na’aman.

The Absent Body – Body Imagery Between Judaism and Christianity examines works by eight Israeli artists, from the 1970’s to the present, in relation to their detachment from, longing for, and return to images of both the body and of divinity. This exhibition reveals the complex critical relations between Jewish and Christian thought, their mutually exclusive aspects, and their influence on one another, and underscores the centrality of both these traditions to the featured works. These works bespeak the tension between the immateriality of God in Judaism and his concrete material existence in Christianity, while addressing a range of aesthetic and theoretical concerns pertaining to visual representation and its place in Israeli culture.

The conception underlying this exhibition is based on the longstanding understanding that the image of body in Israeli art is never taken for granted, but is rather a constantly elusive presence demanding to be redefined. The Absent Body brings together members of several different artistic generations and stylistically diverse works in a single space, and reveals a central conflict at the heart of secular Israeli experience as it has been given expression over four decades of artmaking.

The exhibition The Absent Body at Beit Hatfutsot is concerned with the dialogue between Israeli art and the exploration of Jewish identity in a contemporary, local context. It was preceded by the exhibitions Drama of Identities (2009, curator: Irena Gordon), With this Ring (2010, curator: Raz Samira), and Jewish Icons – Andy Warhol and Israeli Artists (2010, curators: Geula Goldberg and Irena Gordon).

The Absent Body will be accompanied by a bi-lingual English-Hebrew catalogue featuring selected works from the exhibition, alongside articles by the art historian Gideon Ofrat and the curator Irena Gordon.

Curator: Irena Gordon

Director of the Curatorial Department: Smadar Keren

The exhibition is sponsored by: