In Conversation with Moshe Shek

Participants: Jonathan Ofek, Hila Ben Ari, Aarele Ben Arieh, Nitza Bar, Tal Gur, Gali Grinspan, Dori Shechtel Zanger, Magdalena Hefetz, Tal Mor Sinai, Dana Palmon, Erez Pane Navi, Rina Kimche, Noam Rabinowitz, Abi Shek, Moshe Shek

Curator: Shlomit Bauman

Opening: 11/8/16 at 19:30  /  Closing: 24/9/16

September 5:

19:00 Gallery talk with the curator

20:00 Screening of the film ”Unto Thy Land” and meeting with the director Silvina Landsman

The film is 60 minutes in Hebrew with English subtitles Free admission.

Photographs: Shay Ben Efraim

About the exhibition:

Moshe Shek known as Juk (1936 – 2011) represents the longing for local. His expansive work is deeply rooted in material culture, with an enormous appreciation of local Palestinian skilled artisans in diverse materials. Shek studied with Rudi Lehman (1903 – 1977) and over time became his apprentice. His adventurous immigration from Poland (through Siberia and Buchara) did not dull his senses regarding the place. …”I am from Zamush and not from Canaan, but I stumbled on the place and the atmosphere with all that it holds; I cannot deafen my ears to the meaning.” (from Moshe Shek: To the Caves by Gideon Ofrat). His affinity to the Canaanites, a movement from the 40’s that aimed at creating a new culture in continuance with the ancient biblical Canaanites, had a great influence on the material and form of his works.
Shek was an artist and an educator. His many students were influenced by this path, including active artists, makers and children from Kibbutz Beit Nir where he lived and worked.
The work of Shek is an honest examination of locality through two avenues of the archaic and contemporary, personal and universal. For Shek ”place” overwhelms him with materials, traditions, implements, animals, feelings, sounds and smells. In his creative process he tries to bridge Israeli ethos and the question of our existence here as well as the sensual experience and personal language of the individual. For him material precedes verbal. He fills the lack and deprivation in a rapidly changing world of representation that becomes more and more verbal.
The exhibition displays nine works by Moshe Shek from the Idol series (shown at the Open Museum Tefen, some are still on permanent display in the sculpture garden). The sculptures are totems that may be considered abstract forms but also animals or work tools. The totems (in the lower gallery) are intuitive yet carefully considered, individuals, but also have a connection between them. In the upper gallery, in conversation with Shek, are the works of 12 artists and designers, which relate to his work consciously and unconsciously. These works examine locality from various aspects and refer to age, gender, local material, cultural DNA and immigration. The exhibition does not encompass his extensive oeuvre; instead it examines the concept of ”locality” through the work of artists from various disciplines that touch on the ideas of material, form and place from different angles.

Photographs: Shay Ben Efraim

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