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.
What do recent accounts of institutional cultural practice in the Middle East offer to further the understanding and the development of contemporary cultural production in the region, and what do they fail to address? Lama Suleiman reviews the latest volume in the ongoing Ibraaz publication series on visual culture in the Middle East and North Africa
Over the past thirty years, Miki Kratsman has been active as an artist, photojournalist, investigator, and archivist. Hagai Ulrich reviews his new book, the result of collaboration with curator and scholar Ariella Azoulay. The book examines the way in which photography can turn individuals into ultimate suspects.
“The work of the photojournalists’ collective Activestills does not settle for reflecting the grim reality by providing representations of it, but offers a more active mode of photography that joins the protests of the struggling communities being photographed.” Nadeem Karkabi reviews the recently published book that covers a decade of Activestills’ collective photo-activism.
The third and final part of the essay by Noah Simblist focuses on Akram Zaatari’s use of dialogical exchange as an artistic strategy. While completely different in their dynamics and outcomes, Zaatari’s conversations with both Hagai Tamir and Avi Mograbi, he argues, reveal different degrees of both personal and political engagement and, at the same time, various forms of antagonism and refusal.
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)."
In the second part of his essay analysing Akram Zaatari’s 2013 work “Letter to a Refusing Pilot,” Noah Simblist addresses a previous work by the artist that involved a conversation with filmmaker Avi Mograbi. Simblist is reading this work through the prism of dialogical exchange, referencing Grant Kester’s definition of “dialogical art,” as well as Ella Shohat’s observations on the identity politics of Mizrachi or Arab Jews.
In the summer of 1982, during Israel’s incursion into Southern Lebanon, a story swirled around the port town of Saida that acquired mythological flourishes: One of the Israeli fighter jets that were sent to the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Helweh, aborted its mission to bomb a school building, its pilot dropping the bombs into the sea instead. In a text for Tohu Magazine, that will be published in 3 parts, Noah Simblist dives into Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari’s work, Letter to a Refusing Pilot, instigated by this true story.
In a tale full of suspense, surveillence, interrogation, secret meetings, and covert conversations, artist Tea Tupajić describes the 2-year process of devising a new performance work in Tel Aviv, which involved Mossad and Shin Bet officers. A new essay in Tohu Magazine: we recommend reading it in one sitting.