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Body Politic: Recent Video by Israeli Artists

March 9, 2005 - June 30, 2005

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Alona Friedberg and Limor Orenstein (Super Music-MegaMixer, 2004, 6 min.)
Sharon Glazberg (Black Moon, Dead Sea, 2004, 5 min.)
Hilla Lulu Lin and Levi Zini (Understood, 2002, 19 min.)

Among the citizens who actively participate in Israel's body politic-a complex and passionate collective of dreamers and visionaries-are artists. In this exhibition of recent videos, Alona Friedberg, Limor Orenstein, Sharon Glazberg, and Hilla Lulu Lin use the human body and stunning imagery to examine nationhood, landscape, and personal history. Super Music MegaMixer (2004) is a global medley of high art and popular culture infused with local Israeli flavor. Alona Friedberg and Limor Orenstein-a collaborative duo who regularly perform in their videos as twin personae-spin Jasper John's target painting like a roulette wheel, transforming masterworks of modern art and the Old Masters into tableaux vivants. The artists substitute original elements in these paintings with Israeli icons such as falafel, Sabbath wine, dates, and a kova tembel-a floppy work hat that has become a relic of Israeli fashion and kibbutz history. Top 40 hits in a video arcade game are replaced with nostalgic Israeli marches. Friedberg and Orenstein's quest to make sense of contemporary Israeli identity becomes a post-Zionist game of chance.

Sharon Glazberg is also a competitive player in her own fantasy world. Black Moon, Dead Sea (2004) is a dreamy portrait of Israel's most famous body of water—and a creative exercise in building associations between seemingly disparate objects and creatures. Glazberg uses the Dead Sea's desert landscape as a lively, magical site for bubbles, birds, and bowling.

Understood (2002) is an artist's attempt to unload the burdens of personal and national history and to affirm her contemporary identity. In this video hybrid of visual art, performance, memoir, and documentary, the artist Hilla Lulu Lin returns to her kibbutz, a place that she associates with feelings of betrayal and repression. Lin invites her extended family and community members to a ritual that not only memorializes the passing of her father and grandparents, but also heals painful memories about leaving home. Understood was produced in collaboration with filmmaker Levi Zini.

Alona Friedberg and Limor Orenstein have exhibited their work at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, the Haifa Museum of Art, and Videozone, Israel's biennial of video art. They are represented by Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, Israel. Sharon Glazberg's videos have been shown at the Haifa Museum of Art, the Islip Art Museum, Videozone, and the 7th Havana Biennial. Hilla Lulu Lin's solo exhibition Mole is currently on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Her work has also been presented at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, and the Israel Museum. Lin's video No More Tears (1994) is part of The Jewish Museum's permanent collection. She is represented by Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Body Politic is presented in conjunction with artis—Israel Contemporary Art Week in New York, March 9-16, 2005. This exhibition is one of the many Israeli cultural activities—including dance performances, concerts, lectures, auctions, film and video screenings, and gallery and museum shows—taking place at various venues around the city during this time. A magazine highlighting artis events is available at The Jewish Museum, The Chelsea Art Museum, and selected galleries. Further information can be found at www.sothebys.com and www.artis05.com.

still from Super Music-MegaMixer (2004) courtesy of the artists

The Jewish Museum extends appreciation to the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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