Footprints: Orly Maiberg and the Stieglitz Collection
Location: Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life
Artist: Orly Maiberg
Curator: Sharon Weiser-Ferguson
The Stieglitz collection was presented to the Israel Museum 30 years ago. It enriched the Jewish Art and Life Wing with rare objects of historical and artistic significance and exposed the visiting public to central chapters in the history of Jewish art and the customs and traditions of different communities.
Maiberg's video work is edited as a collage: clips from anonymous home movies from before the Second World War sampled from YouTube combined with scenes from kibbutzim in the 1940s and Tel Aviv in the 1960s. It is an imaginary history of the family’s voyage of survival from Poland via Russia and Tehran to the kibbutz and ending in Tel Aviv, as the artist sees it.
Embedded in the audio guide accompanying visitors to the Jewish Art and Life Wing are audio clips of sounds and voices from films, music of the period and short descriptions of scenes from the artist’s childhood and youth with her grandfather the collector, narrated by her.
At the center are two display tables. On one are museum items mostly from the Stieglitz collection, and on the adjacent table photographic works by the artist. Maiberg displays side by side "layers" of images that she created over the years and items from the collection.
The question of original versus copy, which was an essential part of his work and even crucial to his survival, is turned on its head in his granddaughter’s work. The photographic work –a copy or representation of the table of items, of some of the photographs and the artist’s drawings which are themselves representations of items from the collection – gives them equal value, without gradations of expensive and cheap, old and new, sentimental value and indifference, and integrates them together in a single two-dimensional space.
Paulina and Joseph Stieglitz – What Remains (3 details), 2016
Installation: Pigmented inkjet print, video (3:25 mins.), and audio clips
Collection of the artist, Tel Aviv