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The Schmooze

5 Israeli Artworks You Should Have Seen in 2014

1. Omer Fast, The Casting

Omer Fast’s video installation “The Casting” questions the reality and fiction embedded in storytelling by recording an actor who plays the role of an American soldier in Iraq, and a casting for the role of the aforementioned soldier. Even with its abrupt, fragmented scenes that parallel the short attention span of the 21st-century viewer, the editing in “Casting” is not always obvious, since only two of the four projections can be viewed at once. This duality highlights the enigmatic barrier between the viewer and the artwork, and leaves an enormous space for speculation.

2. Elinor Carucci, The Woman That I Still Am #2

Elinor Carucci redefines the binding and somewhat misunderstood label of motherhood with an avant-garde visual vocabulary. In this piece she creates a deep and stimulating picture through raw and vulnerable depictions of herself, usually naked, with her parents and children.

3. Ilit Azoulay, Tree For Too One

Ilit Azuolay collects found objects on the streets of Israel, photographs them, and then inserts them into digital montages so that they appear together on a wall as the keepsakes and mementos of one particular owner. By recycling objects and images, Azuolay highlights a new age of appropriation and familiarity.

4. Naomi Safran-Hon, Wadi Salib: Glitter and Doom in Gold

Using unconventional materials such as cement, Naomi Safran-Hon photographs, paints, puncture and slices her canvases. Her labor-intensive process of creating layered imagery of abandoned interiors illuminates her ability to revive trompe-l’œil in contemporary art.

5. Yael Bartana, Inferno

Perhaps the most difficult work to fully grasp on this list, “Inferno” is about the reconstruction of the third Temple of Solomon in São Paulo, Brazil. The video combines fact and fiction with history and prophecy in what Bartana refers to as “historical preenactment.” It is altogether confusing, but it definitely goes out with a bang.

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