Curator: Sagi Refael
Curatorial assistance: Georgia Freedman - Harvey,
Participating Artists: Yossi Alpert-Apodaca | Melinda Smith Altshuler | Shula Singer Arbel | Renee Amitai | Bill Aron | Pat Berger | Sandy Bleifer | Jodi Bonassi | Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik | Ed Buttwinick | Ellen Cantor | Rhea Carmi | Stacie Chaiken | Will Deutsch | Judy Dekel | Zhenya Gershman | Susan Gesundheit Bonita Helmer | Gilah Yelin Hirsch | Anne Hromadka | Eva Hyam | Marisa Mandler | Aline Mare | Rachelle Mark | Randi Matushevitz | Sarah Pavsner Mael | Avi Roth | Marleene Rubenstein | Doni Silver Simons | Debra Sokolow | Ruth Weisberg | Cathy Weiss | Karen Frimkess-Wolff | Jana Zimmer | Marlene Zimmerman | Nancy Goodman-Lawrence | Barry Gordon | Roger Gordon | Betty Green
The exhibition Table of Contents/Table of Contacts has been assembled by the Jewish Artists Initiative (JAI) of Southern California, a group based mainly in Los Angeles County and whose members work in diverse artistic media.
During these divisive and politically challenging times, for both the United States and Israel, the JAI exhibition embraces a dialogue surrounding the theme “for Heaven's sake.” In rabbinic sources, this phrase speaks to ongoing deliberations that do not need to find a decisive agreement, but which advance an overall deeper group understanding.
Disagreements and misunderstandings do not occur solely with strangers and enemies: they can also occur within the family. While the American-Israeli alliance is perceived to be everlasting and unbreakable, Table Of Contents/Table Of Contacts seeks to challenge Jerusalem visitors to the exhibition by presenting thoughts and opinions that might conflict with some Israeli conventions.
A multi-channel video installation and a selection of original artist books represent over two dozen artists and art professionals from multiple generations of Jewish experiences and points of view. They answer questions about their childhood memories growing up in Jewish homes, justice and social activism, as well as their connection to Israel. They also share personal stories about how their identities and political awareness impact their art practices.
Some of the themes repeatedly raised in the monologues are tikkun olam (repairing the world) and “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The idea of Jewish compassion and social responsibility, especially after the Holocaust, is repeatedly discussed.
The notion of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, albeit one that may not receive automatic moral and financial support for all its policies, is also mentioned frequently.
Our hope is to open mutual channels in a trans-Atlantic discourse that is respectful, understanding and inspiring, for a cause that is larger than the sum of its parts.
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