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Sarit Shapira on Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall

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magasin Sarit Shapira is an associate curator at Magasin 3. This is her first own exhibition for the institution and a Swedish audience. Sarit Shapira lives in Tel Aviv and bases her activities on her region of operation, the Middle East. At Magasin 3 she presents six oeuvres that are linked to the region. These artists employ different approaches, for instance using national symbols such as the camel and the olive tree, making models of mythically charged buildings, or letting the landscape be a stage for enacting scenes from art history.

The featured artists are currently or have been active in Israeli or Arabic areas. Every week we get fresh news from these areas, a rapid flow of reports about a violent everyday life. Sarit Shapira highlights these artists’ ability to transform the situation in the region into something imaginary, abstract, with artistic and contemporary qualities. She combines the legendary filmmaker David Perlov’s (1952-2002) snapshots with works by young and promising artists, such as Raeda Saadeh. Several of the participating artists do not display an obvious political stance in their work – an avoidance that could be interpreted as a political standpoint in itself. The title refers to this approach, which is also what links the artists to each other.

Sarit Shapira is a leading authority on contemporary art in the Middle East. She lectures in art theory at the Bezalel Art Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem/Tel Aviv, and is a freelance curator at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and other institutions. Sarit Shapira has written books about the artists Raffi Lavie and Avner Ben-Gal among others and articles for magazines such as October and ArtForum.

Fleeing away from what Bothers you most

  • Jumana Emil Abboud
  • David Perlov
  • Raeda Saadeh
  • Gil Marco Shani
  • Jan Tichy
  • Jean-Luc Vilmouth

About the Artists:
Jumana Emil Abboud
(b. 1971, Shefa-Amer, lives and works in Jerusalem)
“Al Awda/The return”, 2002, video loop 4.35 min.
This video work shows a person walking in the woods. As in the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, she leaves a trail on the ground to find her way back. The work documents a performance and the artist expresses the work’s central theme as “the Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland”. Selected drawings from Jumana Emil Abboud’s “The Heart Collection”, (2002-2005), a work in progress, are also featured in the exhibition.

David Perlov
(b. 1930, Rio de Janeiro – d. 2003, Tel Aviv)
“My Stills, 1952-2002” (2003), color video, 61 min., in English
David Perlov was born 1930 in Brazil and died 2003 in Tel Aviv. When he was in his twenties he studied photography and film in Paris. In 1958, he moved to Israel and embarked on a film career that lasted for half a century. “My Stills 1952-2002” is based on David Perlov’s stills. The photos give the impression of snapshots, a flow of people documented in passing. Most of them were taken in Perlov’s own neighbourhood, but he also visits his favourite places in Paris and pays tribute to his idols and inspirational figures. Perlov’s narrative voiceover is equally captivating whether he is reflecting on the events of 9/11, or the flowers in the security guard’s buttonhole. “My Stills” was the last film he made.

Raeda Saadeh
(b. 1977, Um El-Fahem, lives and works in Jerusalem)
Mona Lisa, 2007, 86 x 63 cm; The Milk Maid, 2007, 92 x 82 cm; Diana, 2007, 120 x 90 cm, all color photographs mounted on aluminium.
Raeda Saadeh has created photos that refer to paintings made in the 16th to 18th century by Da Vinci, Vermeer and Nattier. “I try to put myself in the place of the portrayed women,” says Raeda Saadeh. Using this as her starting point she explores the longing to be someone else and yet being tied down by the actual situation and reality of being a Palestinian and a woman. The settings she chooses emulate the landscapes in the background of the original paintings, and the artist also describes how “the occupied landscape becomes a co-actor” in the enactment.

Gil Marco Shani
(b. 1968, Tel-Aviv, where he lives and works)
Untitled, 2007, acrylic and marker on canvas, 203 x 300 cm; Untitled, 2007, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 203 x 300 cm; Untitled, 2007, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 156 x 122 cm; Untitled, 2005-2007, 20 drawings, pencil on paper, various sizes.

Gil Marco Shani’s drawings are usually based on photographs. Some of them eventually turn into paintings. He uses the same motifs repeatedly, reworking them or extracting details from them. He says that he depicts everyday scenes and uses symbols of national art such as the camel, but his imagery also includes deer and birds, sexuality, the army and violence.

Jan Tichy
(b. 1974, Prague, lives and works in Tel Aviv)
Jan Tichy has devoted part of his oeuvre to working with architectural models of veritably mythical places, sites with a history that refers to a context that is greater than the history of the building itself. He collects as much information as possible from the internet and constructs a model based on this information and his own suppositions of what it must look like.

“DIMONA”, 2006,paper model, video projection and ink jet printouts, 45 x 50 x 50 cm Dimona is a nuclear research reactor built in Israel around 1958 with aid from France. The facility has been kept secret and has not been subjected to international inspection safeguards. Today, the plant is 40 years old and there is concern that it may be hazardous.

“Yasser Arafat International Airport”, 2006, paper model, sand 120 x 45 x 15 cm The Yasser Arafat International Airport is in the southern part of the Gaza strip. It was built in 1996 during the upheaval of the Oslo peace process, and opened to the public in 1998. It was closed in 2000, shortly after the Second Intifada started. The artist describes the airport as a symbol of lapsed potential.

Jean-Luc Vilmouth
(b. 1952, Creutzwald, lives and works in Paris)
“Café de l’Olivier”, 2007
The cafés Jean-Luc Vilmouth creates are based on his walks in various cities. At Magasin 3 he has altered the existing café, recreating “Café de l’Olivier”, which he made for Anadiel Gallery in east Jerusalem in 1994. Anadiel Gallery, together with the al-Ma´mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, is the first and largest Palestinian forum for contemporary art. In 1994, the artist wrote: “On a walk in the eastern part of Jerusalem, I found an olive tree. It was to be torn up by its roots.” The tree was taken to the gallery and incorporated in the café he created during his exhibition there. Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s work with cafés and bars deals with an interest in the relationship between the artist’s concept and the visitor.

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