The 6th Athens Biennale expressed the need for an urgent new self-identification of the confused contemporary community, either in local or in international terms - an urgent need of a new “revolution” that would define the 21st century. Christos Paridis writes about the exhibition, which he describes as an adult playground for those who are seeking questions or answers to present and future nightmares.
“There is no curatorial passivism, any more than there is a passivist war.” Michal B. Ron reviews Maura Reilly’s book Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating and adds a note about the heroless politeness of the recent Berlin Biennial.
Karam Natour's solo show "Repeat After Me," on view now at the Umm el-Fahem Gallery, is a sort of birthday song for a newly-born magician. Bar Yerushalmi has viewed the show, and he brings back thoughts on the difference between trickery and true magic.
Can we talk about gentrification in the context of colonialism and deprived lands? What does it mean to own the land? Rana Asali raises questions after visiting “That Man in That Box”, a performance piece by Palestinian artist Rabia Salfiti.
Efrat Vital's show, Winnie (Real Daughter), presented recently at the Herzliya Artists' Residence, brings to the fore the denial and suppression of the problematic history of racism, slavery, and Colonialism in the southern part of the United States. Hagai Ulrich has visited the show, and he suggests thinking about it from a local point of view as well.
Anisa Ashkar's work uses the different senses to problematize the intersection of categories that compose together her multi-layered identity. Tal Dekel visits her recent solo show and writes about Ashkar's use of the whole sensorium to blend categories, destabilize and dismantle them.
"From a local perspective, 'A Good Neighbour' brought hope to an art scene wrapped in a dark curtain." Hou Rf reviews the 15th Istanbul Biennial, curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset.
In an age of great geopolitical stress, heightened nationalist sentiments and ethnic strife, and forced migrations, Christos Paridis visits the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art and returns with thoughts about the search for a new home.
In the midst of the general lack of commitment of the central exhibition of the Venice Biennale this year, Avi Lubin visits three significant and interesting projects that offer metaphoric sites and spaces for experimentation and cooperation.
In Richard Deacon's comprehensive solo show at the Prague Municipal Gallery, to see the large-scale sculptures viewers must get close, bend down, crane their necks upward, focus on the small details, and then again step back and look at the whole work. These exploratory actions that the viewers perform with their bodies and their movement through space have led Hagai Ulrich to try to understand how Deacon manages to physically express ideas, symbols, and signs that cannot be realized in time and space.
"I must build a 20-meter-long bridge, made of words, to the mystery works by Amos Groswagel, assuming they are where they should be." Shai-lee Horodi writes from a distance about Amos Groswagel's show at Livluv 24 Gallery in Tel Aviv.
A depressing human condition resolved with grand gestures of politics, sentimentality, fashion, and merchandise. Michal B. Ron writes about documenta 14 in Kassel.
Orit Ishay's comprehensive show at the Prague City Gallery includes images of bomb shelters, military uniforms, mourning rituals, woman soldiers, and a scrapbook of local dried flowers that had been given to General Allenby. It seems that the entirety of activities Ishay engages in creates an interesting critical course in which information loses its content and reality sheds its substance.
The exhibition "The Color Line: African-American Artists and Segregation" has gone a long way to illustrate the struggle for the civil rights of blacks in the USA, but at the same time, it traps the art on display in a conceptual prison. Revital Madar writes about the recent exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.
A message from Europe’s past that resonates in Europe’s present makes a powerful opening political statement of documenta 14. Christos Paridis visits the world-famous exhibition and finds the decision to open it this year in Athens before Kassel more than just a colonial project of the German art scene.
"Slowland," Bianca Eshel Gershuni's and Oree Holban's joint exhibition, opened at Barbur Gallery in Jerusalem in the wake of the highly visible dispute between the gallery and the municipality, and the latter's attempts at censorship. Hagai Ulrich visited the show and returned with some thoughts about the political prospects suggested by the space the two have built.
With a rich display of over 200 artifacts, the Metropolitan Museum exhibition “Jerusalem, 1000-1400,” subtitled “Every People Under Heaven,” intended to introduce the viewers to a peaceful, spiritual, culturally and religiously diverse place, which they imagine the city of Jerusalem to be. Rula Khoury visited the exhibition and came back with some thought-provoking questions.
Do the works of Michal Makaresco represent cheap fetishism and dubious situations? Were they made casually, easily, or on a whim? Hagai Ulrich visited the show at Hamidrasha Gallery in Tel Aviv and came back with thoughts about good taste, honesty, as well as questions about weight and scale.
Between 1918 and 1924, the German missionary and anthropologist Martin Gusinde traveled to Tierra del Fuego and West Patagonia, the southernmost point in Chile and therefore the globe. Alma Mikulinsky writes about the traveling exhibition of Gusinde’s photographs, documenting his encounter with the indigenous people of the Selk’nam, the Yamanas and the Kawésquar.
Thirty-eight technologically complex projects, a century of experiences of the moving image, 18,000-square-foot of installations, drawings, 3-D environments, sculptures, performances, paintings, and online spaces: an immersive experiment or sensory overload? Rula Khoury visits the impressive exhibition Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Contemporary painting as the wreckage pile of Modernism or genuine Modernist painting? Focusing on composition or the subjects? Hagai Ulrich writes for Tohu on "Take Painting," showing at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art.
Many emotionally and politically charged places appear in Nir Evron's work, among them Rawabi, the new Palestinian city, the Seven Arches Hotel on Mount Olive, in Jerusalem, and the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, USA. What happens to the concreteness of the locations and the specific political stories when the works separate content and form? Hagai Ulrich reviews Evron's show, "Masad (Foundation)."
A painter who has internalized the Western Orientalist gaze, a minor artist given recognition as lip service to the British Indian community, or one who offers a sharp, complex, subversive outlook on identity, society, and sexuality? Bar Yerushalmi writes for Tohu about Indian-born painter Bhupen Khakhar's retrospective at the Tate Modern.
What is it about a book that makes it a metaphor for the subject? Why do we want to identify with a book, to become a book? Liran Razinsky writes for Tohu about the fetishistic aspect of books and the relationship of books to the subject and the human body, as represented in “Bi-bli-o-logia: The Book as Body,” an exhibition at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art.
“Welcome to the post-contemporary,” say the DIS collective, curators of the 9th Berlin Biennale, with the hospitality of border control. Michal B. Ron shares her impressions of the biennial in a new critique for Tohu Magazine.
Michal B. Ron looks for eggs and feathers in Marcel Broodthaers's retrospective at MoMA
“If, as William Burroughs has written, language is a virus from outer space, then Portnoy might come from a planet where dyspraxia is the common, acceptable mode of being.” Noam Toran attended Michael Portnoy’s performance at the Witte de With, and spoke with WdW’s director, Defne Ayas. He shares his insights on Tohu Magazine.
Can one bypass the fact that Roee Rosen, through his writing, manufactures his art as a closed system? Can one approach his art from different perspectives? Alma Mikulinsky writes about Rosen’s mid-career retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
“The ability to study the world through empirical observations and to reach conclusions regarding the nature of reality has completely changed the way we experience the world around us.” Bar Yerushalmi on art and the science of consciousness at the exhibition “States of mind: Tracing the edge of consciousness,” showing now at the Wellcome Collection in London.
Producing some of the wittiest artistic pranks in sculptures, installations, photography, and video works, in an ever more pompous art world, Fischli/Weiss have always advocated wild thinking. Michal B. Ron writes about the duo's major retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim.
How different can two painting exhibitions be? Danny Yahav Brown on shows by Amir Nave and Yitzhak Livneh at Sommer Contemporary Art.
A play of accuracy and doubt, Walid Raad’s MoMA retrospective manifests the artist’s distinctive way of relating the affects of war. Naomi Lev visited and took the walkthrough
How should the Athens Biennale be shaped when everything in Greece is in flux? Christos Paridis on the fifth and the sixth Athens Biennales - a 2-year artistic-political-social project.
Ferry, terminal, the beach, a hotel room, a border crossing – each one of these bureaucratic instances is exposed as an illusion. Danny Yahav reviews Ohad Meromi’s show, Resort.
Did this year’s posthumous attempts at exhibiting Marcel Broodthaers's work rise to the challenge? Would his future retrospective at MoMA? Michal B. Ron is tackling these questions and their inherent paradox.
Inside and outside, secular and sacred, blindness and sight; ideas which emerge from analytical, non-seductive painting. Danny Yahav Brown writes about windows and stained-glass in Maya Gold’s show.
Could an egg-shaped artwork have predicted the internet? Alma Mikulinsky on “The Metabolic Age,” curated by Chus Martínez at Museo del Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
How does the tool, the instrument, change from an object to a work of art? How does it cancel itself (as an industrial object) and acquire new identity and meaning? Aim Deuelle Luski on the idea of ManApparatus and on the digi-image, following Matan Mittwoch’s show at the Dvir Gallery.
Emily Jacir’s and Jumana Manna’s shows, both now on view in London, invite viewers to an encounter with opposing strategies for dealing with the limitations of archived memory. Bar Yerushalmi on the two shows.
The opening days of the 14th art biennial in Istanbul were haunted by a child’s ghost, three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who had drowned during his fatal journey, fleeing Syria. Michal B. Ron on the Istanbul Biennial