Curators: Judy Cardozo and Susan Nashman Fraiman
Participating Artists: Irit Abir | Dov Abramson Studio | Shlomit Bauman | Yael Buchbinder-Shimoni | Maya Ben David and Yuri Movshovich | Belu-Simion Fainaru | Ken Goldman | Anat Golan | Ruth Kestenbaum Ben-Dov | Neil Nenner and Avihai Mizrahi | Luka Or | Michael Rieder | Ruth Schreiber | Joseph Sasson Semah | Yael Serlin | Arik Weiss
The title of the exhibition, Not In Heaven, is derived from a dramatic moment in the Talmud: the story of the Oven of Akhnai (Bava Metzia 59a-b). During the incident, the acting head of the Sanhedrin puts a decisive end to a debate that pits Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, whose opinion is supported by miraculous occurrences, against the majority of sages. “The law does not reside in Heaven,” declares the head of the Sanhedrin. The Torah has already been revealed; it is humanity that must determine truth and uncover meaning. This exhibition has assembled works by designers and artists who use the Oven of Akhnai as a window into the rich world of the Talmud. The artists make diverse visual and material meaning of a story that involves a serpentine-shaped oven, a bitter debate during which the rule of the majority overrides the apparent truth, and the excommunication of a great sage with tragic consequences. Some focus on the narrative and its characters, some view the elements as allegories, while others develop their inquiries in more esoteric directions. The vast sea of Talmud, previously a formidable challenge to anyone without serious religious learning and knowledge of Aramaic, has become accessible thanks to contemporary translations from the original Aramaic and commentaries. The artists featured here, many unfamiliar with the Talmud, bring their broadminded and creative imaginations to this sugiya (topic), directly or indirectly seeding ideas that culminate in the works created for this exhibition. This struggle for survival and connection with our ancient roots has been the subtext of much legislative and philosophical creativity throughout Jewish history, to this day. This exhibition is an invitation to artists and designers, who by responding to the world and its complexities, like the sages in the sugiya, see the world as a place of resistance, creation and transcendence.
Hutzot HaYotzer Artist's Colony
Sunday - Thursday: 10am - 5pm