The Israel Museum, Jerusalem      About the exhibition       עברית

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<div ><p><strong>Vahram  Aghasyan</strong>, born Armenia  1974<br />
      <em>Ghost</em><em> City</em>, 2005–2007 <br />
      Three  chromogenic prints from a series of ten<br />
      Purchase,  Barbara and Eugene Schwartz<br />
      Contemporary  Art Acquisition Endowment Fund<br />
      B11.0878  (a–c)<br />
<br />
Using architecture as a mirror, Armenian artist Vahram Aghasyan focuses on cultural and historical processes taking place in his homeland. His digital photographs investigate sites and structures that originated during the Soviet era but are non-functional, incomplete, or irrelevant in their current socio-political context.
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Ghost City shows the actual state of an urban development utopia – a housing project planned by the Soviet regime following a devastating earthquake in northern Armenia. When the USSR collapsed only three years later, construction ceased, leaving half-finished buildings to bear witness to the dream of a glorious future. The artist says that 'the ghostly specter of Modernism is ever present' in this architectural project, now overtaken by seemingly apocalyptic floodwaters.
</p>


</div> <div ><p><strong>Julien Audebert</strong>, born France 1977<br />
      <em>      The Searchers</em>, 2009–10<br />
      Lambda print mounted on aluminum under Diasec <br />
      Purchase, Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee<br />
      of Les Amis Français du Musée d'Israël à Jérusalem<br /><br />
Composed of shots from the American movie classic The Searchers (Dir. John Ford, 1956) and a documentary about its filming, Audebert's work opens up a panoramic landscape. The view represents not only Hollywood's packaged fantasy of how the West was won, but also calls to mind paintings and maps by Dutch Old Masters. Stretching horizontally, the various film locations are compressed into a single locale, Monument Valley, whose unique geological formations are transformed by Hollywood into a new Acropolis. 
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Whether members of the cast or the crew, whether in character or reclaiming their status as stars, the protagonists of The Searchers blend into the composition. Reality and fiction coexist, recalling American cinema's defining role in the construction of the American Dream. Using the film's original English title (rather than the name by which it was known in France, La prisonnière du désert), Audebert turns the viewers into 'searchers' – observers of a play-within-a-play who watch actors who have also become spectators. Through deft visual reconstruction, The Searchers reveals what lies embedded in this iconic rendition of the myth of the West: a collective fantasy and a brilliantly camouflaged ideology.

    </p>

</div> <div ><p><strong>Ilit  Azoulay</strong>, born Israel  1972<br />
      <em>      Tree  for Too One, The Keys, Window, </em>2010<br />
Chromogenic  print and two exhibition copies<br />
Purchase,  "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel<br />
B10.0676  (a–c)<br />
<br />
Composed of thousands of photographs, Ilit Azoulay's work resembles a mosaic that is both actual and imaginary – in her words, 'a puzzle based on accumulation, change, and development.'  She photographs discarded stones and construction materials, souvenirs, a walkman, a coat, a person, from several angles and then pieces these pictures together. Shapes and sizes are reworked digitally, sometimes almost beyond recognition or even in contradiction to the laws of nature, and recast as a single image. The artist plays with balance, form, and color; the result – a seemingly random presentation of objects that challenges our instinctive urge to categorize – achieves its own rhythm and logic. 
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This plurality of viewpoints creates a new and radically different kind of photography. Instead of the idea that a picture is a one-off event capturing 'the decisive moment,' Azoulay proposes a reading of reality in which multiple layers of being, memory, and association exist simultaneously in one coherent whole. 
</p>

</div>

Vahram Aghasyan, born Armenia 1974
Ghost City, 2005–2007
Three chromogenic prints from a series of ten
Purchase, Barbara and Eugene Schwartz
Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund
B11.0878 (a–c)

Julien Audebert, born France 1977
The Searchers, 2009–10
Lambda print mounted on aluminum under Diasec
Purchase, Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee
of Les Amis Français du Musée d'Israël à Jérusalem

Ilit Azoulay, born Israel 1972
Tree for Too One, The Keys, Window, 2010
Chromogenic print and two exhibition copies
Purchase, "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
B10.0676 (a–c)

<div ><p><strong>Ulla  von Brandenburg,</strong> born Germany  1974, active Paris<br />
        <em>Five  Folded Curtains</em>, 2008<br />
Cotton<br />
Purchase,  European Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee<br />
B10.0696<br />
<br />
Most of von Brandenburgs's work explores the idea of theater: the boundaries between audience and actors, subject and object, reality and illusion. Instead of focusing on the dramatic word or plot, the artist selects visual components – props, costumes, choreographed gestures – as restrained allusions to her subject. The most minimal gesture or action acquires significance. Often, the device of the curtain is employed, a threshold separating the space of the theater from that of the real world.
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Five Folded Curtains was inspired by the heavy red curtains found in old theaters and cinemas. The fabric creates an architectural space, an empty stage or set onto which viewers step, unsure of their position. Spectators, actors – or both? The installation functions as a theatrical void waiting to be filled, a setting for the drama of the mind.

</p> 

</div> <div><p><strong>Luis  Camnitzer,</strong> born Germany  1937, active New York <br />
        <em>Landscape  as an Attitude</em>, 1979 <br />
Gelatin  silver print<br />
Purchase,  Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee<br />
of  American Friends of the Israel Museum, New York<br />
B11.0880<br />
<br />
For decades, the activism of Luis Camnitzer – influential creator, critic, writer, theorist, teacher, and curator – has mirrored the political, social, economic, and artistic challenges of our time.
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In 1979 he photographed his own face as an idyllic mountain landscape. The little chapel stands on his forehead as if on a lush alpine meadow. In the shade of a fir tree, sheep graze, an especially bold one venturing to graze on the bridge of his nose. Appearances, however, are deceptive. One eye is slightly open – the situation is being monitored. And at any moment, Camnitzer might change his facial expression and wreak devastation on the peaceful scene. Landscape as an Attitude is an optical illusion poised between portrait and landscape, but it is also a political parable. 

</p>

</div> <div >   <p><strong>Tacita  Dean</strong>, born UK 1965, active Berlin<br />
      <em>      Palast</em>,  2004<br />
16-mm  color film, optical sound, 10:30 mins.<br />
Purchase,  Barbara and Eugene Schwartz <br />
Contemporary  Art Acquisition Endowment Fund
<br />
B11.0877<br />
<br />
From a text by the artist:
It is the building that always catches and holds the sun in the grey centre of the city: its regime-orange reflective glass mirroring the setting sun perfectly, as it moves from panel to panel along its chequered surface, drawing you in to notice it on your way up the Unter den Linden to Alexanderplatz [… – the abandoned building of] the Palast der Republik and former government building of the GDR, a contentious place that concealed its history in the opacity of its surface, but had now been run-down, stripped of its trimmings and was awaiting the verdict on its future.
[…]<br />
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There are others, like me, who are attracted to the Palast for aesthetic reasons: the totalitarian aesthetic. We, who have no inkling of what the building meant when it had meaning; had no reason to look upon it and know the monster it contained – when the copper-tinted mirrored glass was not about catching reflections and deflecting the sun, but about looking in one direction only; about being observed without leave to observe. 
</p>


</div>

Ulla von Brandenburg, born Germany 1974, active Paris
Five Folded Curtains, 2008
Cotton
Purchase, European Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee
B10.0696

Luis Camnitzer, born Germany 1937, active New York
Landscape as an Attitude, 1979
Gelatin silver print
Purchase, Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee
of American Friends of the Israel Museum, New York
B11.0880

Tacita Dean, born UK 1965, active Berlin
Palast, 2004
16-mm color film, optical sound, 10:30 mins.
Purchase, Barbara and Eugene Schwartz
Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund
B11.0877

<div ><p><strong>Trine  Søndergaard & Nicolai Howalt </strong> 
Søndergaard born Denmark 1972<br />
Howalt born Denmark 1970<br />
<em> Kromanns Remise</em>, 2005,<br />
from the “How to Hunt”  series<br />
Digital chromogenic prints;  triptych<br />
Purchase,  Barbara and Eugene Schwartz<br />
Contemporary  Art Acquisition Endowment Fund<br />
B08.1132  (a–c)
<br />
<br />
Howalt and Søndergaard's 'How to Hunt' series combines the stark reality of modern-day hunters with beautiful landscapes that hearken back to Romanticism. Shot in the lush Danish countryside at different times of year, these large-format photographs are made up of digitally interwoven multiple exposures, part of a series that illustrates the unfolding of an entire hunt. Through the layers, the artists explore interactions between the armed men, the living and dead animals, and the picturesque landscape. The resulting images are meditative photographs that question the passing of time and human existence.
</p>

</div> <div ><p><strong>Isaac  Julien</strong>, born UK  1960<br />
        <em>Yishan Island,  Mist (Ten Thousand Waves)</em>, 2010<br />
Endura Ultra photograph<br />
Purchase,  West Coast Art Acquisitions Committee <br />
of  American Friends of the Israel   Museum<br />
B11.0155<br />
<br />
The haunting visual language of Isaac Julien's film installations integrates many other artistic disciplines, including dance, photography, music, theatre, painting, and sculpture. Yishan Island, Mist is a still from his nine-channel video installation Ten Thousand Waves. Shot on location in China, this epic work poetically weaves together stories linking the nation's ancient past and its present, myth and landscape, to create a meditation on human migration in a global context.
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The legend of Yishan Island tells of desperate fishermen lost in a storm at sea and their rescue by the goddess Mazu. Julien connects this story to a recent event, the tragic death in 2004 of 23 Chinese cockle-pickers swept out to sea at Morecambe Bay in northern England. These migrant workers came from Fujian Province, also the place of origin of the goddess Mazu.

</p>

</div> <div ><p><strong>Dana  Levy</strong>, born Israel  1973<br />
        <em>Silent  Among Us</em>, 2008<br />
Video,  5 mins.</span><br />
Purchase,  "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel<br />B11.0423<br />
<br />
In Dana Levy's photographic and video works, the Israeli socio-political context acts as starting point for a universal, poetic artistic statement. Levy often turns to nature, staging dramatic encounters between flora and fauna and the human element that invades their realm: 'I am interested in the tension that lies between the man-built world and the wild one, and the battle between the two.'
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Silent Among Us follows a flock of doves inside an old-fashioned museum of natural history at Kibbutz Ein Harod. The encounter of birds in flight with inanimate taxidermic exhibits in glass showcases suggests dichotomies of freedom and imprisonment, life and death, nature and culture. Here, in this local museum in the Jezreel Valley, the frozen animals testify to the natural legacy of the place, but also to its human legacy – the kibbutz founders and their pioneering vision. As in the story of Noah's Ark, the dove brings a sign of redemption and revival to its dead brethren, those 'silent among us.'

</p>

</div>

Trine Søndergaard & Nicolai Howalt Søndergaard born Denmark 1972
Howalt born Denmark 1970
Kromanns Remise, 2005,
from the “How to Hunt” series
Digital chromogenic prints; triptych
Purchase, Barbara and Eugene Schwartz
Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund
B08.1132 (a–c)

Isaac Julien, born UK 1960
Yishan Island, Mist (Ten Thousand Waves), 2010
Endura Ultra photograph
Purchase, West Coast Art Acquisitions Committee
of American Friends of the Israel Museum
B11.0155

Dana Levy, born Israel 1973
Silent Among Us, 2008
Video, 5 mins.
Purchase, "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
B11.0423

<div ><p><strong>Tony  Matelli,</strong> born USA  1971 <br />
      <em>      Abandon</em> (Double dandelion), 2008<br />
Hand-painted  bronze <br />
Purchase,  West Coast Art Acquisitions Committee<br />
of  American Friends of the Israel   Museum<br />
B11.0881<br />
<br />
Tony Matelli has become known for hyper-realistic sculptures that serve as metaphors for the struggle for survival and our own social malaise – characters and things just barely getting by; things nearly dead, hopelessly lost, or otherwise totally unwanted. 
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Abandon (Double dandelion) comes from an ongoing project entitled 'Weeds':  precise bronze replicas of the real things are surreptitiously placed in the gallery. For Matelli, this unwanted, persistent botanical intruder serves as an emblem of struggle and perseverance. Weeds celebrate debasement and mock cultivation, an impulse that is simultaneously political and deeply personal.
</p>

</div> <div ><p><strong>Jonathan  Monk,</strong> born UK 1969, active Berlin<br />
        <em>Candle  Film</em>, 2009<br />
Eight 16-mm films, each  approx. 47 mins. (total 6:20 hours), unique<br />
Purchased  through the gift of Marianna Sackler, New    York, and David Sackler,<br />
New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum<br />
B11.0156<br />
<br />
Drawing on Conceptual Art of the 1960s and 1970s, Jonathan Monk explores such issues as being and identity in relation to time /and/ /or/ history, as well as the actual process of making art. Very little happens in Candle Film; as in Andy Warhol's ground-breaking Empire (1964), a static object is filmed as it changes slowly over time, in this case a period of more than six hours. Because Monk has chosen the technology of 16 mm film and a film projector, the reels must be changed on a regular basis – approximately once every hour – by a technician.  
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Monk says: 'I have made a lot of short films and some shorter films. And have wanted to make a long, long film for a while… [one] that dealt with its own duration…What could live and die within the process of making the film. What could change but remain the same. Something that is natural but not manipulated by nature. A candle seemed to be the perfect vehicle for my idea…It gives light when there is no light. It can be controlled. It lasts for as long as it lasts. And then dies. And darkness falls.'
</p>    

</div> <div ><p><strong>Adrian  Paci,</strong> born Albania 1969, active Milan<br />
      <em>      Per Speculum, </em>2006<br />
35-mm film, 8 mins.<br />
Purchased  through the gift of Shawn and Peter Leibowitz, New York,<br />
to  American Friends of the Israel   Museum<br />
B08.1111<br />
<br />
Paci's early works are autobiographical, related to his native Albania and permeated by his personal experiences of exile and rootlessness. Per Speculum takes a new direction – it was filmed in the calm pastoral landscape of southern England. As the film opens, the camera focuses on a group of children whose image, we quickly realize, is actually a reflection in a large mirror placed amid the landscape. This play of a picture within a picture vanishes when one of the boys picks up a slingshot and releases a stone that shatters the mirror and the reflection it has created. Holding pieces of broken mirror, the children later sit scattered among the branches of a monumental sycamore tree, like fireflies on a summer night.
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The title of the film refers to a phrase from Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, per speculum – 'by means of a mirror' (in the evocative phrase of the King James translation, 'through a glass, darkly'). This allusion suggests that seeing the world through a mirror or through a work of art does not necessarily offer a perfect reflection and that complete understanding remains unattainable.
</p> 

</div>

Tony Matelli, born USA 1971
Abandon (Double dandelion), 2008
Hand-painted bronze
Purchase, West Coast Art Acquisitions Committee
of American Friends of the Israel Museum
B11.0881

Jonathan Monk, born UK 1969, active Berlin
Candle Film, 2009
Eight 16-mm films, each approx. 47 mins. (total 6:20 hours), unique
Purchased through the gift of Marianna Sackler, New York, and David Sackler,
New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
B11.0156

Adrian Paci, born Albania 1969, active Milan
Per Speculum, 2006
35-mm film, 8 mins.
Purchased through the gift of Shawn and Peter Leibowitz, New York,
to American Friends of the Israel Museum
B08.1111

<div ><p><strong>Anila  Rubiku,</strong> born Albania 1970, active Milan<br />
        <em>Casa  all'italiana - Superleggera, </em>2008<br />
Perforated  and sewn paper<br />
Purchase,  Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund and an  anonymous donor, through Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv<br />
B10.0026<br />
<br />
Anila Rubiku's little house conjures up bedtime stories and naïve children's drawings. The light emanating through the perforated paper walls transforms the structure into a type of magic lantern, casting images on the walls of the surrounding space. Embroidery on the outside creates the effect of a projected interior, exposing what usually remains hidden. The artist embroidered these domestic motifs with her mother's assistance, their joint work an allusion to traditional women's crafts. Warm, simple, and poignant, they speak of a nostalgic yearning for the past. 
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In fact, the house never existed and the reality of the past was quite different. Rubiku has said that the work was inspired by memories of her childhood in Albania, a time when long power cuts often left entire neighborhoods in the dark, their inhabitants feeling helplessness and loss of control. In this context, the fragile, portable paper house functions as an antithesis to the dark reality, with the energy of shared creation invested by the artist and her mother transforming it into a place of light.
</p>



</div> <div ><p>Yehudit  Sasportas, born Israel 1969,  active Berlin  and Tel Aviv<br />
          <em>GHARDY, local voices</em>,2009<br />
Multi-channel  DVD projection, 5 mins. <br />
Purchase,  "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel<br />
B10.0755<br />
<br />
In a darkened space, six DVD projections offer glimpses of forests and marshlands in northern Germany, depicted in photographs, drawings, and animation. A white spot of light that moves over the projected images seems to search for something or someone in the shadowy scenery. 
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As in her other works, in GHARDY, local voices, Yehudit Sasportas's autobiography and inner world intersect with her aesthetic approach to form and line. GHARDY is an acronym for the names of the six Sasportas siblings, and thus each projection may be said to sketch the individual 'landscape' – a sort of mental map – of a brother or sister, together creating a family landscape. The hidden recesses of forests and swamps, traditional metaphors for the unconscious mind, may harbor personal and family secrets that bubble up to the surface of the water or drop down like falling branches. Enveloped by music (written by one brother, Gamliel) and slow-moving images, viewers are drawn into an all-encompassing experience of the mind and the senses.  
</p>

</div> <div ><p><strong>Hiraki  Sawa,</strong> born Japan 1977,  active London<br />
      <em>      Going  Places Sitting Down,</em> 2004<br />
Three-channel  video projection, 8:30 mins.<br />
Purchase,  Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of <br />
American  Friends of the Israel Museum, New    York<br />
B11.0190<br />
<br />
Hiraki Sawa uses video animation to create poetic dreamscapes – ruminations on ideas of time and movement; innocence and alienation; dislocation and displacement. 
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In a work created in 2003, Dwelling, his own apartment served as both domicile and international airport, with miniature jets gliding past everyday household objects and surroundings. In Going Places Sitting Down, an English country home is the stage on which graceful rocking horses are the main actors. A perfect object for playing out Sawa's themes, the rocking horse can be in perpetual motion without ever really going anywhere. Here, the miniature horses move fluidly on an enchanted journey through a domestic interior, navigating what becomes a vast magical landscape. The artist makes the realm of the imagination visible, allowing us to travel the world without physically relocating and reminding us that the human mind is a limitless terrain of discovery.
</p>

</div>

Anila Rubiku, born Albania 1970, active Milan
Casa all'italiana - Superleggera, 2008
Perforated and sewn paper
Purchase, Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor, through Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv
B10.0026

Yehudit Sasportas, born Israel 1969, active Berlin and Tel Aviv
GHARDY, local voices,2009
Multi-channel DVD projection, 5 mins.
Purchase, "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
B10.0755

Hiraki Sawa, born Japan 1977, active London
Going Places Sitting Down, 2004
Three-channel video projection, 8:30 mins.
Purchase, Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of
American Friends of the Israel Museum, New York
B11.0190

<div ><p><strong>Nedko  Solakov,</strong> born Bulgaria  1957 <br />
      <em>      Good  News, Bad News,</em> 2010 <br />
Children's toys, glass, artificial flower and mixed media,<br />
handwritten  texts, twelve spotlights <br />
Purchase,  Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of<br />
American  Friends of the Israel Museum, New    York<br />
    B10.0695<br />
<br />
From a text by Stephan Berg, Director, Kunstmuseum Bonn:
Light spots on the floor of the dimly lit space make small still-lives become visible. The installation titled Good News, Bad News is mysterious at first sight, but proves to be a sly commentary on the human existence. Looking at the many forms his work can take, it can be said that Solakov aims to create an encyclopedia of the absurd, the remote: a history of deviations, embarrassments, and aborted utopias.
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His drawings, texts, videos, photographs, performances, installations, sculptures, and murals question what are apparently collective truths as well as the conditions of the art market; they use his own publicly exposed fears to reflect upon failure as a metaphor for human existence and discover a paradox as a dominant structure in the political ways of the world. Solakov has the ability to take all these different themes and put them into narratives that maintain an exact balance between a poetic, rhapsodic joy in the narrative and constant, ironic breaks. It is exactly this ability that makes his body of work not only wholly inimitable, but also highly entertaining and humorous.
</p>

</div> <div >
<p><strong>Jan  Tichy,</strong> born Czechoslovakia  1974, active Tel Aviv and Chicago <br />
      <em>      Installation  #6 (tubes)</em>, 2009 <br />
Video  installation, 10 mins.<br />
Television  monitor, paper, glue, sandbags<br />
Gift  of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Allentown, PA,<br />
to  American Friends of the Israel   Museum<br />
B09.0746<br />
<br />
Paper tubes create a mysterious, even threatening, urban landscape in Jan Tichy's installation. They rise up like skyscrapers, symbols of alienation and beacons of futuristic technology. In this work, Tichy extends his exploration of architectural symbolism and the tension between force and fragility, which began with paper models of military sites – the Israeli nuclear reactor and clandestine army prisons. Rolled into cylinders, the flimsy paper also resembles machine parts – perhaps the tubes that were once essential components of televisions. And there is something nostalgic about the installation's antiquated TV screen, but its 'snow' and white noise add to the sense of unease.</p>


</div> <div ><p><strong>Maya  Zack,</strong> born Israel  1976 <br />
      <em>      Living  Room,</em> 2009 <br />
Four  Lambda digital prints <br />
Purchase,  "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel<br />B11.0051
<br />
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By means of computer visualization, Maya Zack recreated the interior of an apartment in Berlin – a space charged with cultural and historical meaning – just before it was abandoned. The work is based on her interview with Yair Noam (Manfred Nomburg, who fled to Palestine in 1938) and his description of his childhood home. But the translation of oral history into visual image cannot be straightforward. Zack does not seek to reconstruct the apartment exactly as it was; she also addresses such questions as the limitations of memory, the imagination of the artist, and the impossibility of recapturing what has been lost. The overwhelming whiteness of the work symbolizes innocence, but it is also ghostly, a reminder that this scene was frozen only a moment before being overtaken by death and catastrophe.</p>

</div>

Nedko Solakov, born Bulgaria 1957
Good News, Bad News, 2010
Children's toys, glass, artificial flower and mixed media,
handwritten texts, twelve spotlights
Purchase, Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of
American Friends of the Israel Museum, New York
B10.0695

Jan Tichy, born Czechoslovakia 1974, active Tel Aviv and Chicago
Installation #6 (tubes), 2009
Video installation, 10 mins.
Television monitor, paper, glue, sandbags
Gift of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Allentown, PA,
to American Friends of the Israel Museum
B09.0746

Maya Zack, born Israel 1976
Living Room, 2009
Four Lambda digital prints
Purchase, "Here & Now" Contemporary Israeli Art Acquisitions Committee, Israel
B11.0051

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