Curator: Dr. Shirat-Miriam (Mimi) Shamir
Participating Artist: Israel Dahan
The 2019 Jerusalem Biennale is an opportunity to present contemporary Judaica that is legitimately engaged in debate leshem shamayim – for the sake of Heaven. Israel Dahan: Fifty Years of Judaica shows 21 ritual objects created by Israel Dahan over a period of 50 years, as well as one work commissioned especially for the current Biennale. Dahan taught at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design from 1969-2018. Although Dahan grew up in a religiously observant home and creates his objects in keeping with halacha (Jewish religious law) and its cultural context, his objects are far from conventional. He succeeds in maintaining the balance between the drive to create and innovate, and the pull to ensure that his works remain ritually relevant. During his tenure at Bezalel, Dahan encouraged dialogue among students and teachers based on the core of Jewish achievement and creation. He also gave expression to creativity for secular and non-Jewish ritual works to embrace for multi-faceted Israeli identity. Muslim, Christian and Druze students studying under Dahan produced ritual vessels in the spirit of their own heritage. Dahan shared knowledge based on enlightenment and faith, which empowered his students to formulate the act of creation according to their own inclinations. Dahan seeks to apply rational debate and creative tension to achieve solutions that inspire, support and accept. These are summarized in Dahan’s new work that is exhibited here for the first time: a memorial candle, where two parts are severed from a metal pipe to form two hands that support and protect the candle on both sides. This exhibition is a modest tribute to Israel Dahan and his tremendous contribution to the development of Judaica.
(The Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art)
Address: 58 King George St.
Sunday- Thursday: 10am-5pm