Past Public Program

Women in the Public Sphere: Contemporary Visual Culture, Religion, and the Law in Israel

Women in the Public Sphere:
Contemporary Visual Culture, Religion, and the Law in Israel
With curator Avi Feldman & professor of law Yofi Tirosh
Tuesday, October 2, 8:30-9:30 AM

The dynamics between artistic practice, civil rights, and legal systems have taken various forms – from direct artistic engagement with political crises to struggles for freedom of speech and copyright issues. Cultural production, many times, stands at odds with laws and legislature that straddle religious sensitivities and freedom of speech. In Israel today, representations of women are at the center of a legal battleground over community rights, equality, and dignity. Curator of Ludlow 38 Avi Feldman and Professor Yofi Tirosh focused on the ways in which visual images function in the contested terrains of religion and gender equality in Israel, and how we might situate Israeli case studies in a larger international context.

Dr. Avi Feldman is a curator and writer based in Tel Aviv, Berlin, and Dresden. He is the 2018 curator in residence at Ludlow 38, the MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies program, NYC. Dr. Feldman is the founder of The Agency for Legal Imagination, which is an independent organization devoted to the investigation of existing and imagined relations between legal and artistic imagination, and visual activism and legal activism. This year, the Agency is presenting and collaborating with Tali Keren, Hinda Weiss, Jason Loebs, Forensic Architecture, NSU Tribunal, and Devin Kenny, among others. The Agency started operating in NYC following a residency, workshops and exhibition at Artport Tel Aviv (2017). Dr. Feldman holds a law degree and has been a member of the Israeli Bar since 2005. He recently obtained his PhD in Practice in Curating at the University of Reading in cooperation with the Postgraduate Programme in Curating at the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts, Zurich University of the Arts.

Dr. Yofi Tirosh is a Tel Aviv University legal scholar, a public intellectual, and an activist. She is currently Dean of the Sapir Academic College School of Law. Her research focuses on anti-discrimination law, feminist jurisprudence, body and law, and food law. Her article, The Right to be Fat, recently appeared at the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics. Her article (with Michael Birenhack), Naked in Front of the Machine: Does Body Scanning Violate Privacy?, recently appeared in the Ohio Law Journal. Her article, Adjudicating Appearance: From Identity to Personhood, was published in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. In recent years, Dr. Tirosh has dedicated her academic and social change energies to understanding the rapid expansion of sex-segregation and modesty requirements that exclude women from Israel’s public sphere – in the military, the labor market, academia, the Western Wall, and public events. She is a regular op-ed contributor and legal commentator in the Israeli media.