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Daniel Kiczales. (Video still) The Messenger, 2011


Dreams and Dramas
At the new Zuzeum Art Center, Riga, Latvia
From October 7 to November 5, 2017

Dreams and Dramas – an exhibition organized by the art and culture publishing house – constitutes the largest exhibition to date in the Baltic States of contemporary art from Israel. Curated by Roy Brand, an Israeli philosopher, curator, and lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem,it brings together works by fourteen distinguished Israeli artists: Porat Salomon, Dor Guez, Nir Hod, Guy Zagursky, Noa Eshkol, Avner Ben-Gal, Sagit Mezamer, Erez Israeli, Keren Yeala Golan, Marik Lechner, Daniel Kiczales, Eitan Ben-Moshe, Sigalit Landau, and Yehudit Sasportas.

Dreams and Dramas depicts contemporary Israel in all its poignant vibrancy, its joys and sorrows, its soaring dreams and fierce dramas:  “For good or bad, Israel is intense, and its culture and art participates and reflects that – it is both earthy and mythic, a mixture of present-day conflicts, past traumas, harsh realities and lofty ideals,” says Brand. More particularly, this exhibition portrays a generation of Israeli artists eager to find new ways of turning their ideals into reality, against the received parameters of logic, norms, and good taste. Consciously breaking away from elaborate theories and intellectualizations, this generation has found in the immersion in the present, in all its confused sensuality, a form of rebellion against the dominating sense of social and political disillusion. Yet this is far from implying that these artists have chosen to either ignore or escape their surrounding reality - rather, that they have soberly accepted that conflict is an immanent part of it. The question then extends way beyond the scope of contemporary Israel: “how to live and accept conflicts without resolution, and how to negotiate them and use them creatively without letting them destroy our subjective core and our public sphere”?

Sigalit Landau in collaboration with Yotam From. Salt Crystal Bridal Gown VI, 2014

The exhibition anticipates the new Zuzeum, a former cork factory that will in the near future be transformed into a contemporary art center. Several other venues will  provide additional platforms for the exhibition: the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Art Academy of Latvia, the University of Latvia, the Latvian Academy of Culture, and a number of cafés in Riga and Jūrmala. The project is accompanied by a self-standing publication that includes specially commissioned essays offering insights into the many-layered mental and emotional landscape of contemporary Israel.

The exhibition is created as a special project for Riga, initiated and sponsored by the Riga-born businessman and patron of the arts, Leon Zilber.

Erez Israeli. Terrorist Head, 2007. Courtesy of Gallery Givon, Tel Aviv

Noa Eshkol. 
Birds on Scaffolds, 1981

With this project, the publishing house expands its institutional boundaries to become a producer of contemporary art exhibitions whilst furthering its main goal – to promote discussions about current world events through the language of art, by emphasizing the crucial role that art plays in the lives of people today.

The project is supported by Riga-born businessman and art patron Leon Zilber: “Through the ages, art has promoted mutual understanding and served as fertile ground for new ideas. I believe these values are also vitally important today. And this exhibition, in which we can see the essence of Israeli artists' ideas and thoughts and the feeling of the times, is perfect proof of that.”