Rank and File

Spotlight on Jewish art

Israel Museum director James Snyder and his wife were among the hundreds of art-lovers who joined Ram Ozeri – the young founder and chief curator of the first Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art – at the opening of two of its exhibitions in the capital. Israeli Anglo artists exhibiting at the Emek Refaim neighborhood gallery include Andi Arnovitz, Mordechai Beck, Ken Goldman and Ruth Schreiber. Guests enjoyed poetry and psalm readings and a dance performance by the Kaet Ensemble, as well as a sneak preview of the exhibitions. Jessica Deutsch, the youngest participating artist at 22, made a special trip from the United States for the opening, where she chatted about her nine drawings depicting stories from the Ethics of the Fathers. The Jerusalem biennale, which showcases Jewish art by artists across the religious spectrum, continues through October, at Emek Refaim 45-47, the Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art at Hechal Shlomo, Beit Avi-Chai, the First Station and outdoor installations in the Musrara neighborhood. For more information, go to www.jerusalembiennale.org.

Point of departure

Local artist Anne Sassoon has departed from many places in her life – Britain, where she was born, South Africa, where she grew up, and the United States, where she has worked. But her latest exhibition, on view at the Jerusalem Artist’s House, relies on more immediate references, which serve as her point of departure. “A diverse collection of photographs from local and Jewish history, film stills, stencils taken from Jerusalem street art – like the Rorschach blot … kick-start her imagination,” according to the curator, Yemima Ergaz, a Jerusalem artist and painter. Nearly all the paintings were made in a six-month period when she “got into a very good roll,” Sassoon told Haaretz. “I’ve always been a figurative painter,” she said. “I use anything that touches me. I bring in as many things as I can, and I don’t really know what I’m after, but I know when I find it.” Sassoon noted several nationalities are depicted in her work, reflecting “a sense of what was in Jerusalem before we got here.” The exhibit runs through October 12.

Reflecting on reality

Can Jews and Arabs forgive and forget? That’s the question professor emeritus Raymond Cohen will be exploring at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Don’t expect any easy answers, though. “It is absolutely not journalist commentary but a kind of philosophical reflection,” he told Haaretz. “I’m not going to make any wise-guy comments on a situation I don’t know about,” said Cohen, a Manchester, England, native who moved to Israel in 1968. Cohen said he would draw on examples from contemporary history like Northern Ireland, the Vatican and the Jews, Willy Brandt and the USSR and Sadat’s visit to Israel. “He comes from international relations and has become more and more interested in the religious dimension of interstate relations,” said the institute’s Jesper Svartvik about Cohen, who is writing a book on diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel. The lecture will be followed by a buffet with kosher options. To register, email jesper.svartvik@teol.lu.se.

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