press release

In Yad Hanna – The Collective Man project – while it unavoidably touches on phenomena that determine the economic, (geo)political, and social situation of contemporary Israel (privatization, immigration, the Settler Movement, the Wall, etc.) – the kibbutz is not a case study, but a subjective reconstruction of the life and operation of a community placed in an intersection of collective memory and personal history.

The work, which took three years of engagement, was inspired by childhood memories and the accounts of relatives. It was during the process of arranging archival photographs collected from the kibbutz that the interviews and conversations – which helped facilitate the process of making identifications and gaining a better sense of historical orientation – began taking place. Through these micro-stories, the artist has mapped out the signs – already detectibly present from the beginning – which have, in the long run, led to the decline of the Yad Hanna kibbutz and of a communal utopia.

Also applying the research methods of "oral history", Gergely László was present in a number of roles. He maintained free passage between the positions of artist, archivist, documentarian, cultural anthropologist and event organizer. Similarly to his previous projects (both solo and with Tehnica Schweiz*), bringing together – and working with – the community was a primary motivation.

It was for this reason that the images of community celebrations, notably the Purim, became a central theme of the archival research, and this is how the Purim Plays became the determining momentum behind the dramaturgical concept and structure of the project. It was based on the humorous sketches accompanying the Jewish carnival that Gergely László wrote his play consisting of seven scenes, which will be performed for the third time at the exhibition.

In these playful community rituals, the mixing of personal and collective memories from three generations of kibbutzniks and the new inhabitants, as well as the mingling of experiences from various cultures and histories, also point to the persistent dilemmas and current conflicts of the Israeli society.

The sketches of the play appear in the exhibition as thematic units, unfolding the 60-year history of the Yad Hanna community – which has undergone profound changes shaped by political, social and economic motivations, as well as interpersonal power dynamics and issues of interest – through various photo – and motion picture-based installations.

Following performances at ISCP, New York and Witte de With, Rotterdam the Third Collective Man Theatre will perform at 7 pm on December 1, 2010 in the Ernst Museum.

Curator: Lívia Páldi

*Artists Gergely László and Péter Rákosi have been working together under the name Tehnica Schweiz since 2004.

only in german

Tehnica Schweiz  (Gergely Laszlo, Peter Rekosi)
"Yad Hanna - The Collective Man"
Kurator: Livia Paldi
Ort: Ernst Muzeum