This fall, Israeli visual artists will be exhibiting at major shows in Paris and Taipei. On the island of Taiwan, Omer Fast and Roee Rosen will represent Israel at the eighth Taipei Biennial while in France, 15 Israeli artists are getting a collective exhibition that will display the multi-disciplinary range of Israeli contemporary art.
The Taipei Biennial, opening at the end of September through January 2013, has come a long way since its inaugural year in 1998. That exhibition, curated by Fumio Nanjo of Japan, featured only the work of East Asian artists from Taiwan, China, South Korea and Japan.
The 2012 biennial will be curated by German art critic and curator Anselm Franke. While 20 of the 70 artists expected to participate will be natives of Taiwan, they will be joined by artists from Slovakia, Greece, India, other East Asian countries, and Rosen and Fast from Israel.
The 2012 Biennial theme, Modern Monster/Death and Life of Fiction, examines the relationship between fiction and reality. In the words of the exhibition’s program, “‘Fiction’ fills the blind spots of history writing and documentation.” The works by Fast and Rosen straddle these two worlds, in line with the biennial’s focus.
Fast, a video artist, was born in Israel, grew up in the United States and lives in Germany. Rosen, a multi-disciplinary artist, will exhibit a series of drawings entitled “Vladimir’s Night” and a video work called “Out.”
“Vladimir’s Night,” created in 2011 and 2012, depicts Vladimir Putin as a cross between a boy and a political leader who endures terrible suffering until he is murdered. The controversial film “Out” (2010), which won the Orizzonti Award for best medium-length film at the 67th Venice Film Festival, portrays two women engaging in a masochistic exorcism in which the statements of the demon are actual quotes from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Back in Paris, at La Villa Emerige, a boutique hotel in Paris, Nathalie Mamane-Cohen and Nathalie Zaquin-Boulakia will curate a modern-art exhibition in November for 15 Israeli artists. This is the third year they’ve produced a show; last year’s exhibition was devoted to Arab modern art in Paris.
Mamane-Cohen, who visited Israel this week, said that although many Israeli artists exhibit in well-known galleries in Paris, they do so as individuals. It has been a long time since there was a group exhibit of Israeli art in Paris, she says. Her intent was to create an exhibition that represented the many facets of Israeli contemporary art.
“That’s why we chose works in a wide range of media that deal with complex issues such as gender, territory, religion and violence,” she says. “And the artists we chose come from a variety of backgrounds.”
She points to Khader Oshah, Gaza-born and living in Rahat, who will be showing work that walks the line between installation and art, Assaf Shoshan, an Israeli living in Paris, presenting a trilogy of films shot in the Negev desert (two of which are currently on display at the Dana Gallery on Kibbutz Yad Mordechai), and photographer Ilit Azoulay, who lives in Jaffa.
Additional participating artists include Nelly Agassi, Raida Adon, Yael Bartana, Avner Ben-Gal, Neta Harari-Navon, Sigalit Landau, Gil Marco Shani, Adi Nes, Moshe Ninio, Gal Weinstein, Pavel Wolberg and Maya Zack.