Staring
Back
at the
Sun

Video
Art from
Israel,
1970–2012



An Exhibition and Public Program
Touring Internationally, 2016–2018

Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel, 1970-2012, a video exhibition and public program, traces the development of contemporary video practice in Israel and highlights work by artists who take an incisive, critical perspective towards the cultural and political landscape in Israel and beyond. Staring Back at the Sun showcases 35 works by 38 artists, including early performances, films and videos never before presented outside of Israel. Divided into four historic and thematic sections, Staring Back at the Sun focuses on the activist impulse in video art-making in Israel over the last four decades. Informed by the international history of video art, the program traces the development of the medium in Israel and explores how artists have employed technology and material to examine the sociopolitical status quo, through themes such as the prominence of political conflict in mass media; the liberalization of the economy; and the impact of free market politics on Israeli culture.

Foreword

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Everything Artis does – from research trips to grants to public programs – is about supporting artists in innovative, meaningful, and essential ways.

It was with that spirit in mind that on one of our semi-annual research trips to Israel in October 2013, a conversation started sparked by the questions: why is video art from Israel so strong today, and who were the forebearers to the artists who are actively working today? What were they up to beginning in the 70s and leading to today? How did film and video from Israel correspond to contemporary international developments?

As we discussed what we did and did not know about these interrelated questions, the idea formed that Artis should seek to uncover the answers and share them with the public. We found a remarkable lack of research about the early history of video art from Israel, with the exception of work by Ilana Tenenbaum. We also discovered that no one had comprehensively surveyed or contextualized the history of video art from Israel from the 70s onward in one program.

So, it had to happen..and with a wonderful grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and in early partnership with Director Chris Bedford from the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, we invited curators Ilana Tenenbaum, Sergio Edelsztein, Avi Feldman and artist Yael Bartana to curate four one-hour long chronological sections of Staring Back at the Sun suited to their areas of expertise. All works had to be single channel so that the program could easily travel and screen as a program if desired.

We’re excited by the potential of these 35 works by 38 artists to reach people all over the world and to stimulate important conversations about the role art can play in political and social developments. Staring Back will tour internationally for two years in the format of a screening program or exhibition – see below for the evolving schedule. This mini-site will have video interviews with artists, many of them from the older generation whose work you will see in today’s program. We will have essays posted about each of the sections of this program.

I want to thank all of the participating artists and their estates, our tireless staff, our outstanding supporters The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, The Russell Berrie Foundation, Donald Sussman, Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker, and to our very supportive Board of Directors.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Yael Reinharz
Executive Director

 

For press inquiries, more information, or to request a prospectus, please email info@artiscontemporary.org.

  

Checklist

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BOAZ ARAD
(b. 1956, Afula, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Gefilte Fish, 2005, 10:54 minutes
YOSSI ATIA & ITAMAR ROSE
Yossi Atia (b. 1979, Jerusalem, Israel, based in Tel Aviv), Itamar Rose (b. 1979, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
The State of Judeo-Arabia, 2007, 4:33 minutes
YAEL BARTANA
(b. 1970, Kfar-Yehezkel, Israel, based in Berlin and Tel Aviv)
Kings of the Hill, 2003, 7:45 minutes
IRIT BATSRY
(b. 1957, Ramat Gan, Israel, based in New York)
The Roman Wars: 1983, 1983, 6:00 minutes
GUY BEN-NER
(b. 1969, in Ramat Gan, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Moby Dick, 2000, 12:39 minutes
HILA LULU LIN FARAH KUFR BIRIM
(b. 1964 Afula, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
No More Tears, 1994, 2:42 minutes
MICHAEL DRUKS
(b. 1940, Jerusalem, based in London)
Play-Box London, 1975, 7:56 minutes (excerpt of 22:41)
BENNI EFRAT
(b. 1936, Beirut, Lebanon, based in Tel Aviv)
Relay, 1974, 3:48 minutes
AVRAHAM EILAT
(b. 1939, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Ein Hod, Israel and Dusseldorf, Germany)
Run, 1971, 3:36 minutes
NIR EVRON
(b. 1974, Herzliya, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
A Free Moment, 2011, 4:00 minutes
YAIR GARBUZ
(b. 1945, Givatayim, Israel, based in Ramat Gan, Israel)
Lists, 1974, 2:10 minutes (excerpt of 20:00)
GIDEON GECHHTMAN
(b. 1942, Alexandria, Egypt - 2008)
Exposure, 1975, 3:43 minutes
MOSHE GERSHUNI
(b.1936, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Crawling, 1970, 0:32 minutes
TAMAR GETTER
(b. 1953, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Golem, 1974-5, 3:36 minutes (excerpt of 6:18)
DOR GUEZ
(b. 1980, Jerusalem, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
(Sa)Mira, 2009, 13:40 minutes
SIGALIT LANDAU
(b. 1969, Jerusalem, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
DeadSee, 2005, 11:39 minutes
RAFFI LAVIE
(b. 1937, Tel Aviv, Mandate Palestine - 2007)
Geranium, 1974, 4:13 minutes (excerpt of 10:00)
MOTTI MIZRACHI
(b. 1946, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Healing, 1980, 4:35 minutes (excerpt of 20:00)
AVI MOGRABI
(b. 1956, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Mrs. Goldstein, 2006, 9:00 minutes
MICHAL NAAMAN
(b. 1951, Kvutzat Kinneret, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Peeling, 1974, 4:23 minutes
JOSHUA NEUSTEIN
(born 1940, Danzig, Poland, based in New York)
Progression Succession, 1972, 3:31 minutes, (excerpt of 20:16)
MIRI NISHRI
(b. 1950, Bogota, Colombia, based in Tel Aviv)
Blue Blue, 1980, 6:32 minutes (excerpt of 19:10)
DOV OR-NER
(b. 1927, Paris, France, based in Kibbutz Hatzor, Israel)
Pharavizia, 1980, 2:23 minutes (excerpt of 6:22)
NIRA PEREG
(b. 1969, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
ABRAHAM ABRAHAM SARAH SARAH, 2012, 4:10 minutes
GILAD RATMAN
(b. 1975, Haifa, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Che Che the Gorgeous, 2005, 9:22 minutes
ROEE ROSEN
(b. 1963, Rehovot, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Confessions Coming Soon, 2007, 8:40 minutes
BUKY SCHWARTZ
(b. 1932, Jerusalem, Israel - 2009)
Videoconstructions, 1978-80, 10:01 minutes (excerpt of 29:40)
RUTI SELA & MAAYAN AMIR
Ruti Sela (b. 1974, Jerusalem, Israel, based in Tel Aviv), Maayan Amir (b. 1978, Hadera, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Beyond Guilt, 2003, 10:00 minutes
HENRI SHELESNYAK
(b. 1938, New York, US - 1980)
Circus, 1979, 4:33 minutes (excerpt of 14:00)
RAN SLAVIN
(b. 1967, Jerusalem, Israel, based in Tel Aviv)
Omni Presence, 1995/1997, 3:15 minutes (excerpt of 8:39)
DORON SOLOMONS
(b. 1969, London, based in Tel Aviv)
Father, 2002, 13:35 minutes
MICHA ULLMAN
(b. 1939, Tel Aviv, Israel, based in Ramat Hasharon, Israel)
Place, 1975, 10:08 minutes (excerpt of 20:00)
RONA YEFMAN
(b. 1972, Haifa, Israel, based in New York)
DAN ZAKHEM
(b. 1958, Tel Aviv, Israel - 1994)
NANA AND BOAZ ZONSHINE
Nana (b. 1963, Beer Sheva, Israel, based in Clil, Israel), Boaz (b. 1962, Beer Sheva, Israel, based in Clil, Israel)
Untitled, 1996, 1:30 minutes

Curators & Artists

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YAEL BARTANA is a Berlin-based artist best known for videos that explore the relationship between documentary and ction. Her work engages with cultural and collective identity in relation to social phenomena such as ceremonies and rituals.

ILANA TENENBAUM is an independent curator based in Haifa, Israel. Previous positions include Chief Curator of Contemporary Art at the City Gallery in Kfar Saba, Israel and Founding Director and Curator of the New Media Center at the Haifa Museum of Art. Her curatorial work focuses on the research and documentation of video art, including projects such as Videostoria, the first exhibition series to systematically survey the history of the projected image in Israeli art.

SERGIO EDELSZTEIN is Director and Chief Curator of the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, which he founded in 1998. He has curated numerous exhibitions in Israel and internationally, including Israel’s pavilion at the 24th São Paulo Biennial (1998) and the Israeli pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005 (Guy Ben Ner) and 2013 (Gilad Ratman).

CHEN TAMIR is Curatorial Associate at Artis and Curator at the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. She was recently listed by artnet as one of 25 women curators on the rise and by Artslant as one of 15 curators to watch in 2015. She is organizing curator of this program.

AVI FELDMAN is an independent curator and writer based in Tel Aviv, Berlin and Dresden. He was the Director and co-curator of Vdance International Video and Dance Festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and has worked as Associate Curator for avant-garde lm at the Jerusalem International Film Festival and the Petach Tikva Museum of Art.