It was appropriate that the moderator for Alba Arikha’s talk last week at London’s Jewish Book Week was the war correspondent Janine di Giovanni. Di Giovanni is noted for preserving the human dimension in the complexities of conflict. Likewise, “Major/Minor,” Arikha’s recently published memoir, digs deep beneath the surface to explore her tempestuous relationship with her father, the Israeli-French painter Avigdor Arikha. The book strives to appreciate the influences that made her father the man he was, and how those influences shaped the woman she became, in turn.
Photo by Neta Alonim
At a gala ceremony in Tel Aviv January 16, author Haggai Linik joined a select group of literary luminaries when his third novel, “Darush Lahshan” (“Prompter Needed”) was awarded Israel’s Sapir Prize for Literature. Inaugurated in 2000, the Sapir Prize is Israel’s most prestigious literary prize. Awarded by Mifal HaPayis — the National Lottery — the Sapir Prize has previously been given to authors such as Ron Leshem, Gail Haraven, Sara Shilo and David Grossman.
In “Born,” a solo exhibition showing at the Sasha Wolf Gallery in New York through November 5, photographer Elinor Carucci presents intimate, at times unsettling, but always unflinchingly candid portraits of herself and her twin children. Born in Israel in 1971, Carucci started taking photographs at the age of 15. She moved to New York after graduating from Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, and has since forged overlapping careers in visual art and commercial photography. Her photographs, often of herself or family members, have been exhibited across three continents (another solo exhibition, “Love In Spite,” is running at Tel Aviv’s Tavi Art Gallery through October 7); her commissions have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Esquire, among other publications. She spoke to The Arty Semite about the self-reflective and personal nature of her work.
‘Chair’ by Micha Ullman, From ‘Under,’ 2011. Courtesy of The Israel Museum.
High heels are a great way of attracting attention — think of Carrie Bradshaw teetering on vertiginous Manolo Blahniks in “Sex and the City.” But even she might have balked at slipping on one of Kobi Levi’s more imaginative designs. There’s “Chewing Gum,” for instance, capturing the moment just after the wearer has “stepped” in a wad of gum, or “Mother and Daughter,” a cute and whimsical observation on that most basic — and complicated — of relationships. On the other hand, there’s “Blow,” which resembles a blow-up doll apparently engaged in the act of… I’ll skip the details, in deference to readers of more sensitive dispositions.
At a remove, William Kentridge’s work can seem like a study in contradictions. His work is heavily influenced by the once repressive — now merely turbulent — politics of his native South Africa, but often features a lightness sometimes bordering on whimsy; his observations have a universality of tone, yet are underpinned by a distinctly personal, at times autobiographical twist. The works themselves — collages, charcoal drawings and animations that Kentridge himself has likened to “stone-age filmmaking” — are functional in form, yet touched with an unexpected gracefulness and charm.
Based on first impressions alone, it would be tempting to dismiss Or Even Tov and Miri Segal’s video exhibit “Future Perfect,” on view until December 11 at Tel Aviv’s Dvir Gallery, as clever if somewhat overstated satire. Taking its cues from the realm of technological-scientific progress, one immediately discerns tropes from science fiction, specifically the specter of omnipotent control. The short film starts with a lone figure surveying a panoramic landscape before turning to address his Internet audience, tens of millions from across the world.