Reise Nach Jerusalem « The Jerusalem Artists House – בית האמנים בירושלים

Reise Nach Jerusalem

Benyamin Reich, Ervil Jovkovic, Iwajla Klinke, Nezaket Ekici, Pavel Feinstein, Rabi Georges, Stevie Hanley, Trudy Dahan, Yury Kharchenko, Zohar Fraiman

Curator: Stephane Bauer

Opening: Thursday, 13 December 2012

Closing: Saturday, 16 February 2013

Gallery talk: Saturday, 15 December 2012 12:00

  • Trudy Dahan (*1985) was born and raised in Israel. She now lives and works in Berlin.  She grew up in a multinational family and was therefore shaped by many cultures and traditions. With her art, Dahan sets off on a search for her personal character.  She is perpetually dealing in new ways with the question of identity in the area of tension between societal mechanisms and tradition.


    Nezaket Ekici (*1970) was born in Turkey and moved with her family to Germany in 1973.  The ideas for her performances, installations, and multimedia works arise from everyday situations.  In these, the body is frequently used as the vehicle of expression.  Feelings are mediated by time, movement, material, the body, and interaction.  Fragments from everyday life are transferred into new contexts and make new associations and points of view possible for the viewer.

    In her works "My Pig", "Veil Fight", and "Islamic Chapel" the artist works on religious issues.  While she deals with the chador and a real live pig in the work "My Pig", which is a taboo in Islam, in "Veil Fight" she struggles with veiling and unveiling. From a religious perspective, the work "Islamic Chapel" is the most concise. In it the Suras of the Koran are stamped into black cloth that encloses a small Christian chapel that was constructed from wood, with a cross on the roof. This religious mixture of images should evoke the question:  Do all religions, and specifically the Abrahamic religions, have a common core?


    The Moscow born Jewish painter Pavel Feinstein (*1960) immigrated to Berlin at a young age. He plays a subversive game with the Jewish tradition, the conventions of painting, and the expectations of the viewer.  His paintings are executed in oil with an old masters technique, and are inspired by biblical scenes, still lifes, and figure images.  Irritating details are added to his familiar inventory, and alternatives to famous biblical stories are advanced. His figures populate a world that wobbles between humor and horror.


    Zohar Fraiman (*1987) was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in a religious family in the settlement of Hashmonaiim in Israel.  She attended the Master's Class at the Jerusalem Studio School from 2005 to 2009.  In her work she deals with roles of women that have been formed by religion and tradition. Her background posed many questions for her and evoked images that deal with women in religious communities and the interactions between tradition, obligation, and relationships within the family.  The portrayed scenes often unify violence and threat with tenderness and intimacy.  A delicate eroticism is continuously palpable.  The transgression of taboos itself, such as female masturbation, is represented in a both an intimate and shameful manner, that the viewer is not provocatively affronted by.  Finally, the vulnerability of the protagonist is the red thread that runs throughout all of Zohar Fraiman's work.  The issues of violence, oppression, and threat, as well as tenderness and intimacy, are unified in the artworks. Her current works deal with rituals of Judaism that are passed down from mother to daughter (Hadlakat Haner, Hafrashat Challah, and Nidaa), the crucifixion of women, and the Dybbuk- a famous story of Jewish folk belief.


    Rabi Georges (*1981), a German artist of Syrian origin, confronts the interaction between religion and society in his work.  Having himself grown up in a Syrian orthodox environment, he deals with the assignment of identity through religion and culture.  Therefore, he deals with both Christian as well as Muslim issues. His images provoke and analyze intercultural and inter-religious dogmas. He cites and creates religious rituals in his performances, in which he dissects the tensions between religion and the body and then brings them together in a new order. An extension of the symbolism rediscovers itself in the sculptural works that deal with the elements of myths and fairy tails, but still exist within a religious context. Crystals pierce and cover the animals - here a dove. These crystals, that in alchemy represent eternal life and in chemistry represent growing inorganic life, overcome the deaths of the animals in a manner similar to rebirth. At the same time however, they rip them apart. Thus, the dove passes into a state between life and death.


    Stevie Hanley (*1983) was born in California in the USA. He grew up in a Mormon family and works as an artist and curator.  His works revolve in many ways around the most diverse Christian ceremonies and although his drawings at first glance appear to be peaceful, they portray upon closer consideration a world of tension and irritation.  The Christian culture of values are re-contextualized and criticized, and this also shows itself in Hanley's installations.


    Ervil Jovkovic (*1975) is the child of a Yugoslavian guest worker and was born in Lindau.  At home with a Muslim mother and a Christian father, religion was strongly identified with the Catholic Croatian homeland.  Jovković therefore developed an interest in the visible expressions of the most different religious communities at a young age, as well as their respective traditions and similarities.  For his partially documentary, partially staged Polaroids, he uses mostly expired film material and thereby consciously sacrifices important elements to chance and the uncontrollable.


    Iwajla Klinke (*1979) grew up in the GDR of the eighties, where religion was covered over by the shadows of socialism.  Perhaps it is due to this deficiency of tradition and belief that she creates her own religious cosmos within her works.  In her photographs young people act as icons and are portrayed in front of a dark background that is reminiscent of the old baroque masters.  Klinke's works offer the viewer a completely new, detached, and sometimes unsettling experience.


    Yury Kharchenko (*1986) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 2004 and 2008.  In his PhD studies, he deals with the concept of dialogue in the postmodern philosophy of art, with a special focus on two important Jewish philosophers, Jacques Derrida and Emmanuel Lévinas.  The vertical painting in this tradition, which at a first glance seems to be without an object, contains repeated unreal signs and figures, and always forms an enormous pictorial space.  His images are based on the emotional and formal possibilities of painting.  Through his differentiated cultivated way of painting, the force of the imagination of the viewer is influenced in a way that allows them to recognize different things in the images.


    Benyamin Reich (*1976)  attended the École des Beaux-Arts inParis, as well asBezalelArtAcademy and Naggar School of Photography inJerusalem. The series Reise nach Jerusalem is like a present-day crusade, "peregrinatio pro amore Dei" (pilgrimage for the love of God). Benyamin draws thin visual lines, which create a liminal, dual state between his Orthodox Jewishness and the European Christian world, connecting seemingly distant spiritual sanctuaries. He infuses sanctity with romantic, pagan mundanity, and vice versa. The series brings landscapes, myths, holiness, and manly beauty, to one idealistic view.