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Erez Israeli. Ship of Fools, 2015

The artists featured in “Dreams and Dramas”. Erez Israeli 0

Introducing the artists featured in the Israeli contemporary art exhibition Dreams and Dramas

From October 7 to November 5, Riga's forthcoming ZUZEUM Art Centre will be hosting the largest ever exhibition of Israeli contemporary art in the Baltics. 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.

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.

Today's focus is on Erez Israeli.

Erez Israeli uses sculpture, painting and video to investigate death and bereavement in relation to the Israeli identity and post-Holocaust Europe. He is a graduate of the HaAmidrash School of Arts and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. He has exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Israel Museum, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; the Venice Biennale for Architecture; Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, and elsewhere. Awards include the Sandel Foundation Sculpture Award from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Young Artist Award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport.

Terrorist Head, 2007. Concrete casting, 120 x 100 x 80. Courtesy of Gallery Givon, Tel Aviv

What are the main topics that you deal with in your art?

De-culture: From the very start of my artistic itinerary, my work is a critical observation of culture and heritage, meaning the interwoven connection between space, collective memory, and representation. My work has been addressing the tension between the symbolization and representation of traumatic events in our history, and uses these collectively fixed structures in that same history to ultimately take them apart in terms of their meaning and signification, thus enabling their usage in various types of media. My art identifies the gaps and antithesis in collective imagery, generating a new synthesis of values... constantly oscillating between photography, sculpture, painting, installation, video, and body-based arts.

Ship of Fools,2015. Ink on wood, 339 x 134 x 339. Courtesy of Gallery Givon, Tel Aviv and Gallery Crone, Berlin and Vienna

How do you see the role of an artist today?

Culture: In the words of anthropologist E.B. Tylor, culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”. The Artist is a complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.

What would be the perfect or ideal world for you?

Multi-culture: cultural pluralism in which the various ethnic groups collaborate and dialog with one another without having to sacrifice their particular identities. The importance of acceptance of different cultural identities. Cultural diversity.

Ami and Tami, 2017. Graphite and gold color on paper. 110 x 310 (two parts out of twelve)

ARCHIVE | Exhibition “Dreams and Dramas”: Guy Zagursky