The Graduates: Tzion Abraham Hazan, 26, Tel Aviv

Institution: Beit Berl, Midrasha; work: Untitled.

Ellie Armon Azoulay
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Ellie Armon Azoulay

Two video works constituted the heart of Tzion Hazan’s final project: “Salit” and “Marganit.” The first title is that of the main product of Israel Salt Industries; the second is named after a flower, but mainly according to Hazan after the Marganit Tower skyscraper located at the center of the Kirya (Defense Ministry headquarters) in Tel Aviv.

Those entering were welcomed by the figure that adorns ordinary Salit packages of salt. This figure, as was common with the graphics of the times, tried to present the face of young Israeli society and evolved into an icon.

In Hazan’s video project the figure was animated, scattering grains that created movement and sound. Animation was also introduced, such that the illustrated Salit figure could be seen on the backdrop of local landscapes, together with other Israeli icons faithful to the graphic language of Salit: for example, the green background of the salt image turns into Menashe Kadishman’s green sculpture of a ram, in the plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The second film revolved around a song called “Marganit,” written by Hazan with artist and performer Neta Weiner, with a text that fitted the lyrical tradition of medleys and piyyutim (liturgical music). Hazan says that when he discovered the name of the Tel Aviv tower, he was seized by a desire to construct a love story around it (“Each one of the works in the exhibition presents a different view of the tower-woman”).

In the film the singer first appeared in the middle of an open field. Slowly but surely, more and more singers appeared behind him, all of them men “60 men carrying swords around your garden in the alleyways,” according to the lyrics of Hazan’s song.

In his song, Hazan says he tried to create a space that nullifies the political borders and tensions in the region and enables a multicultural mixture to exist. But soon a dissonance emerged between the words of the song and the images appearing in the film (and sometimes in the video “Salit” as well): those of the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv, in the guise of fortifications, brutalist architecture, the knowledge that photographing is forbidden, and more.

Work by Tzion Abraham Hazan.