Naomi Lev

  • Rokni Haerizadeh, Subversive Salami in a Ragged Briefcase, 2014, gesso, watercolor, and ink on printed paper, 11 3/4 x 15 3/4". From the series “Subversive Salami in a Ragged Briefcase,” 2014.
    interviews August 25, 2014

    Rokni Haerizadeh

    Works by the Iranian-born, UAE-based artist Rokni Haerizadeh, including paintings from the series “Subversive Salami in a Ragged Briefcase” and the animated video Letter! (both 2014), are currently on view at the New Museum as part of “Here and Elsewhere,” a major exhibition of contemporary art from and about the Arab world, which is on view through September 28, 2014. Here Haerizadeh discusses these works and his process.

    GROWING UP IN TEHRAN DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR had a big impact on my generation. Thinking about life and death as a kid makes you serious. The TV programs at that time mostly

  • View of “Menace of Origins,” 2014.
    picks May 06, 2014

    Jumana Manna

    Replicas of ancient rocks that resemble traditional Jerusalemite housing bricks are spread on the floor as one enters Jumana Manna’s first institutional solo show in New York. Inside, a twenty-one-minute film titled Blessed Blessed Oblivion, 2010, explores the lifestyle of young male residents of the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Manna, a Palestinian female artist who grew up in Jerusalem, plays a cunning protagonist, capturing “macho culture” as it permeates daily life through her own performance of gender (albeit behind the camera). Manna takes a tour of the characters’ hangouts,

  • Dani Gal, Nacht und nebel (Night and Fog), 2011, HD video, color, sound, 22 minutes.
    picks April 30, 2014

    Dani Gal

    Dani Gal’s long-term fascination with historical memory is the basis for two of his films currently on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. In them, Gal raises questions regarding personal and collective memory and the changing relationships between victim and perpetrator.

    Inspired by an interview he conducted with Holocaust survivor and former police officer Michael Goldman-Gilad, Gal created a twenty-two-minute film titled Nacht und nebel (Night and Fog), 2011, which reenacts events of a night in 1962 when Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann was executed and cremated in Israel. The characters, among

  • Oded Hirsch, Tochka, 2011, color video, sound, 13 minutes 20 seconds.
    picks November 06, 2013

    “The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel”

    “The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel,” curated by Helaine Posner and Lilly Wei, investigates the notion of land and what writer Ory Dessau refers to in the exhibition catalogue as “the cracks of life in Israel.” Featuring accomplished works by twenty-one Israeli artists, the show reflects on current experiences of living in the country. Divided into three main themes—settlers and land, conflict and coexistence, and history and memory—the works, created in the last twelve years, offer a diversity of perspectives that originate in a multicultural existence.

    Oded Hirsch’s

  • Masha Zusman, Untitled, 2012, ballpoint pen and woodburning pen on wood, 45 1/2 x 57 3/10”.
    picks July 27, 2013

    Masha Zusman

    Masha Zusman’s latest exhibition, “Nadir, the Opposite of Zenith,” presents nine paintings inspired by her encounter in Jerusalem with a Palestinian Orthodox woman covered in a black burka with only her eyes exposed. In a conversation with her, Zusman learned that the woman was, despite her guarded appearance, an open and liberal individual—a single mother and Reiki healer respectful of her religious surroundings. In these paintings, created in a laborious and time-consuming process with colorful ballpoint pens on large wooden shipping crates, Zusman investigates notions of conflict and perception.

  • Dana Levy, The Wake, 2011, video, color, sound, 5 minutes 24 seconds.
    interviews November 16, 2012

    Dana Levy

    New York–based Israeli artist Dana Levy is known for her poetic video and photographic works, which often investigate boundaries between the natural and man-made. Her first artist’s book, World Order, was published this month by the Center for Contemporary Arts Tel Aviv and Braverman Gallery in affiliation with Sternthal Books. Levy’s solo exhibition at Galerie Ron Mandos in Amsterdam is on view until November 24.

    FOR THIS BOOK, I wanted to focus on nature and history. I’m very interested in how a story can give meaning to the most mundane objects. The monograph begins with an image of a path in

  • View of “The Breakup,” 2012.
    picks September 27, 2012

    Michael Rakowitz

    Michael Rakowitz’s admiration for the Beatles began at the age of seven, on the day that John Lennon died, as he conveyed in The Breakup, 2010, a ten-part radio series originally broadcast on Amwaj Radio in Ramallah. Written and narrated by Rakowitz, it is presented as an audio installation in his current exhibition in New York and blends Beatles songs and the band members’ intimate conversations from the shooting of the 1970 documentary Let It Be with international audio and television reports of events leading to the 1967 Six-Day War. In the gallery’s back room, Rakowitz offers a forty-five-minute

  • Left: Maayan Levin and Harel Schreiber, exhibition poster for “Experiments in the Techniques of Awakening,” 2012. Right: Ministry of Dub-Key performing during the opening of “Experiments in the Techniques of Awakening,” Yaffo 23, July 15, 2012. (Photo: Yael Sloma)
    interviews August 29, 2012

    Roy Brand

    Yaffo 23/Jerusalem is a center for research, production, and presentation of contemporary art and culture. Founded by the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, the nonprofit space is situated just above Jerusalem’s main post office, near the Old City. Dr. Roy Brand, a philosopher and the director and chief curator of the space since its establishment in 2010, here discusses the goals and challenges of Yaffo 23 and what it takes to make contemporary art in a historical city.

    I FEEL THAT YAFFO 23 is making a change by providing a space, both physical and mental, for more openness, experimentation,

  • View of “Common Assembly,” 2012.
    picks May 21, 2012

    Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency

    For their debut exhibition in New York, Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency (DAAR) presents Common Assembly, 2011, an ongoing project by the Israeli-Palestinian collective (founded in 2007 by Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal, and Eyal Weizman). The group seeks to “employ tactical physical interventions” as a means for the transformation of society, enabling creative discourse rather than seeking one-dimensional solutions. Common Assembly began with the discovery that the Palestinian parliament building in Abu Dis sat directly on the 1967 Jerusalem border. Construction on the building started