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Screenings

Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel, Day 1: 1970–97

Cover Image:

Hila Lulu Lin Farah Kufr Birim, No More Tears, 1994 (still). VHS transferred to video, silent, color; 2:42 min. Courtesy the artist

Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel is a two-day symposium curated by Artis and produced in partnership with the New Museum.

Day 1: 1970–97
Day 2: 1997–2012

Video, possibly more than any other form of communication, has shaped the world in radical ways over the past half century. Its dual “life” as an agent of mass communication and an artistic medium is especially intertwined in Israel, where artists have been using video artistically as a way of responding to its use in the mass media and to the reality video mediates on a daily basis. As internal politics and conflict became more visible on television, film, and on the streets in the late 1990s and early 2000s, video art in Israel grew alongside it. This “renaissance” that began in the ’90s is in full swing today, and can be traced back to works from the ’70s that have rarely been presented outside Israel, as well as to recent, iconic works made over the last decade. An examination of these works offers valuable lessons on how art and culture are intertwined with larger forces.

Staring Back at the Sun will examine the rise of video in Israel, considering this phenomenon as a unique, condensed case study through which to assess the evolution and legacy of video art as a whole. The prominence of conflict in mass media depictions, especially as it relates to the occupation of Palestine, is just one element that has shaped this history. This program will also examine the liberalization of the economy and the impact of free market politics on Israeli culture, which can be considered in tandem with similar historical economic developments across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and parts of South America.

This two-day symposium, which will include screenings of thirty-five works by some of the most influential artists from the 1970s through today, will feature lectures and roundtables by leading scholars that will contextualize the video works within historical, theoretical, and sociopolitical developments both within Israel and internationally.

DAY 1: Day 1: 1970–97
Saturday February 20

1 PM
Welcome and Introduction by Yael Reinharz, Executive Director, Artis, New York

Part I
1970–80: Early Experiments in Time-Based Art
Introduction by program curator Ilana Tenenbaum

3 PM
Part II
1980–97: An Art Form Coming Into Its Own
Introduction by program curator Ilana Tenenbaum

4:30 PM
Conversation between program curator Ilana Tenenbaum and Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, the Whitney Museum of American Art

Sponsors

This symposium is curated and produced by Artis, with major support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support has been provided by the Russell Berrie Foundation, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker, and Donald Sussman.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller and Hermine Riegerl Heller.

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