Nir Evron, A Free Moment, 2011 (still). 35mm black-and-white film transferred to HD video, silent; 4:05 min. Courtesy the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv
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.
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 2: 1997–2012
Sunday February 21
Welcome and Introduction by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, the New Museum
1997–2005: The Rise of the Medium
Introduction by Chen Tamir, Curatorial Associate, Artis, Tel Aviv, and Curator, the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv
2005–12: State of Amnesia: Recent Video from Israel
Introduction by program curator Avi Feldman
Video as an Agent of Globalization
Roundtable with program curator Avi Feldman; Ana Janevski, Associate Curator of Media and Performance Art, the Museum of Modern Art; and Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator for the Middle East and North Africa; moderated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, the New Museum