press release

Extra City is delighted to announce the premiere of Mother's Day (2006 – 08), a multi-channel sound and video installation by Smadar Dreyfus (1963 Tel Aviv, lives and works in London)

Following on from her seminal large scale installation Lifeguards (premiered at the 9th Inter-national Istanbul Biennial, 2005), Mother's Day is part of Dreyfus' investigation into the role of the voice in the constitution of contested public spaces, as well as its function as a mediator between individual and collective and its implication in the negotiation of cultural perspective.

Mother's Day originates at the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line in the Golan Heights, across which the local Druze community has been geographically separated for several decades in the absence of a peace agreement. At the heart of this installation are sound recordings of dialogues on the annual Syrian "Mother's Day" celebration, between mothers on the Israeli-controlled side of the ceasefire line and their student daughters and sons who arrive from Damascus to what is known as the "Shouting Hill" on the Syrian side. Exchanging greetings through a sound system set up for the occasion, these voices enact an imposed boundary, striving for intimacy across the geography of the valley.


Smadar Dreyfus studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1992-94 Postgraduate Studies in Media Fine Art), after completing a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art, (1990-92 MA Illustration and Photography). She works across video photography and audio in the context of installation. Her practice increasingly centres on the way meaning is derived from a specific relationship, or a gap, between the aural and the visual.

Dreyfus' work has been shown internationally and in solo exhibitions at IKON Gallery Off-site, Birmingham, 2005, and the Victoria Miro Gallery, London, in 2006. Most recently her work has been included in 'Trial Balloons' at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), Spain 2006, and the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, 2005.

She also took part in group exhibitions at the Fri-Art Centre d'Art Contemporain Friburg, Switzerland, De Appel, Amsterdam, Almanac, Art on Television, Channel A1, Amsterdam, W139, Amsterdam, Gasworks Gallery, London, The Israeli Biennial, Art Focus2, Jerusalem, The Tannery, London, and The Atatürk Cultural Centre, Istanbul.

Amongst others her work was reviewed in ArtForum, Contemporary, Camera Austria, and Art Monthly.

Smadar Dreyfus
Mother's Day