“Projected Claims” examined the landscape of Israel and its development in an area of conflict, while subtly touching on such issues as romanticized views of the Holy Land, the desire for change, and the simultaneous inability to institute it. The exhibition included two projected videos: In Virgin Land (2006), a mediation on the Israeli landscape and the claims made to the Holy Land throughout the centuries, and Oriental Arch (2009), a study of a hotel in East Jerusalem that operates despite the lack of guests and activity. The exhibition also marked the debut of Threshold, a series of double-exposed black-and-white photographs, shot in a new Palestinian city under construction in the West Bank. Curated by Lauren Ross, an Artis Curatorial Seminar alum.
On Nir Evron's Projected Claims
By Lauren Ross, exhibition curator and alumni of the Artis Curatorial Seminar in Israel Program
This essay was published in 2015 as part of the Artis Journal blog, a series of essays and artist interviews exploring artistic practice and timely topics in contemporary art from Israel. The Artis Journal blog was active from 2015-2016.
In October 2012 I had the privilege of going on an Artis curatorial research trip to Israel. It was an invaluable introduction to contemporary art in a region that I had not visited previously. While so much of what I saw on that trip made an impact on me, the experience that stuck at the forefront of my mind was a studio visit with artist Nir Evron. Right away I started mulling over a possible project that would allow me to work with him… I didn’t know at the time that it would turn out to be multiple projects: two exhibitions and an artist residency, to be precise.
I’m proud to have curated Nir Evron: Projected Claims, the artist’s first solo exhibition at an American museum, which debuted at Philbrook Museum of Art in spring 2015. An expanded version of the exhibition, presented by the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, in Richmond, VA, followed. The ICA’s presentation was made even more resonant with Nir being in residence at VCU’s acclaimed School of the Arts for the Fall 2015 semester. The exhibitions and residency were made possible with the fiscal assistance of many benefactors—including Artis, which supported the exhibition’s first venue with a grant—but none of it would have happened if not for the truly transformational experience Artis provided me on that trip to Israel three years ago.