Curator: Revital Ben-Asher Peretz
Artists: Lidia Zavadsky, Hila Amram, Itamar Levy, Uri Shapira, Roy Maayan
Opening: Thursday, 30 August 2012, 8 p.m.
Symposium and catalogue launching: Friday, 12 October 2012, 10.30 a.m.
The spirit of one unknown donkey named Ephraim—an apparition from the past, a specter, a faint flicker—furnished the conceptual and material foundation for the exhibition "Donkey." It is not a thematic group exhibition which pursues donkey images in Israeli art. Instead, it focuses on the grave situation of ceramics as a medium in the field of Israeli art. It strives to touch upon life and death, upon the intertwined physical and mental dangers threatening practitioners of art in general, and ceramics in particular.
The exhibition dominates all three floors of the Benyamini Center, as if striving to conquer the Temple's interior, to appropriate it in full. "Donkey" outlines a syntax shared by artists from various fields and varying backgrounds, who create ceramic works and installations in diverse materials.
Ami Drach made this tiny donkey and gave it to Revital Ben Asher Peretz on the night of the opening of the exhibition - Donkey.
For more about Ami Drach, who tragically passed away, read here (in Hebrew).
Revital Ben-Asher Peretz | A curator of contemporary art, former student of Lidia Zavadsky, graduate of the Department of Ceramic Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (1995). Her curatorial work focuses on consolidation of artistic action groups combining artists and non-artists from various disciplines, who experience a common process over time.
Lidia Zavadsky (1937-2001) | One of the kingpins of the Israeli ceramics world. Her donkey, Ephraim… Ephraim (2000, Eretz-Israel Museum, Tel Aviv), served as a point of departure for the entire exhibition and the installation that evolved around it. At the same time, it anchors a historical view which spawns a chronological continuum of practitioners, a view which projects on Israeli artists in the mainstream and margins alike.
Hila Amram | An interdisciplinary contemporary artist, graduate of the Department of Graphic Design, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, 2002 (a field which, like ceramics, is located in the margins of the art world). Amram's work brings readymade fragments together, with minimal intervention, breathing life into the inanimate, creating and planting fine hints for evolution and existence.
Itamar Levy | A psychoanalyst, writer, lecturer, art critic and curator, Levy was cast for the role of the exhibition's "ceramicist." He regularly attends an afternoon pottery class, maintaining the inevitably binding status of "amateur." His works do not rely on developed technical and technological knowhow. They elicit thoughts about the stigma associated with ceramic activity as hobbyist, as a type of occupational therapy, a craft devoid of the glamour ostensibly attached to contemporary art.
Uri Shapira | Graduate of the Department of Ceramic and Glass Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2008), Shapira draws his artistic method from the department's technological research lab.
Roy Maayan | Graduate of the Department of Ceramic Design at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, 2002. Maayan is a ceramicist who lives and breathes the medium, participates in ceramics exhibitions throughout the world, curates, and teaches ceramics.
As part of the preliminary work process on the exhibition, group meetings were held to tighten the collaboration among the participants. Every floor features a dialogue between two artists, which extends into a multi-participant conversation among works on the building's various levels.