press release

Petach Tikva Museum of Art in Israel and NiMAC [Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation] present the exhibition Recurrence: Rituals, Place and History – A Group Exhibition of Israeli Artists in Cyprus. The show, curated by Drorit Gur Arie, the director and chief curator of the Petach Tikva Museum of Art presents the work of 14 leading Israeli artists who use video as their primary medium of expression. The exhibition brings together for the first time in Cyprus, works by some of the most intriguing personal voices in Israeli video art today. Their work reveals an affinity with the realms of ritual, Jewish symbolism, and cosmological cyclicality of life and death. The participants represent a generation of young Israeli artists whose members have devised a variety of strategies for approaching the harsh, polarized reality surrounding them. All videos respond to one stratum or more in the multi-layered structure of identity, be it their individual, public, cultural, historic, or political one. Some, like Yael Bartana, Nevet Yitzhak, Amir Yatziv and Jonathan Doweck, appropriate forms, symbols, objects, and sites directly from the physical landscape, often to twist them into subtle political commentary. Others, like Shahar Marcus, employ humour as a tool for deconstructing history's explosive potential, while yet others, such as Ran Slavin, mix sci-fi aesthetics and archaeological fantasy to portray the peculiar way in which these elements affect everyday politics in Israel. The personal poetry of Dafna Shalom, Dana Levy, Itzik Badash, and Yosef-Joseph Dadoune, exemplifies the work of mourning performed by many Israeli artists, in an attempt to come to terms with the violence of history, the violence of social hardship, or simply interpersonal violence so prevalent in this region.

According to the curator, the exhibition deals with reconstruction and repetition. A cyclic human state of struggle, construction and destruction, a fusion of reality, speculation, and fiction, anchored in the fascinating relationship between ritual, place and history; a spectacular, stylized, and eye-pleasing manifestation of violence. Eros and Thanatos are thus bound together in a Gordian knot. The exhibition is the first project of Israeli art in Cyprus with the collaboration of the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre.

Participating artists: Eyal Assulin, Itzik Badash, Yael Bartana, Yosef-Joseph Dadoune, Peleg Dishon, Nevet Yitzhak, Sigalit Landau, Dana Levy, Shahar Marcus, Nira Pereg, Dafna Shalom, Ran Slavin and Amir Yatziv & Jonathan Doweck.

The exhibition is supported by the Embassy of Israel in Nicosia, the Ministry of Education and Culture (Cyprus), Μifal Hapais (Israel) and OPAP (Cyprus).