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Hill and wind in it / The GH Art Gallery

טלפון - 04-637282
22/05/2021 to - 17/07/2021

The Hill and the Spirit Within

A book by Yuval Danieli, an artist and archivist, was published in the year of the Covid-19 Pandemic (2020), telling the story of Givat Haviva from a historical perspective of its 70 years of existence. The exhibition, born out of the pages of this book and bearing the same name, is another layer of observation through a personal, free and critical artistic lens, by artists who are connected to the source and the place, on the agenda that Givat Haviva has instilled in Israeli society over the years, and in recent years even around the world. The exhibition features works relating to the times, ideas, values and work of Givat Haviva. The 22 exhibitors are artists who grew up in kibbutzim belonging to the Kibbutz HaArtzi movement, the same kibbutzim that initiated and established Givat Haviva, the idea and the practice.
We are experiencing stormy days. Avital Geva's outdoor installation "The Wave" has barely started to sprout and is already too high. "Our own Capitol Hill" he called it, and did not know how right he was when he chose the idea and name of the installation. Economic and social structures in Israel and around the world, which seem to have withstood the test of the past year, are now facing another humane and moral test. In photography, they would call it the 'decisive moment'. Givat Haviva is leading this camp. We are standing now at a precarious junction; between the prospect of a deep crisis between Jews and Arabs, and the opportunity to show the power of a shared society, sane, humane and democratic.
Neta Shapira's work 'The Bridge in Slonim' sends us back to the early 1920s, the beginning of Hashomer Hatzair movement. The visual resemblance to fascist characteristics, which we know were dominant less than two decades later in the same place, reflects a difficult look at the possibility of the reversal of roles, and the inconceivable ease with which man is given to influence and misinterpretation. These, in combination with environmental climate and influencing factors, have characteristics that are too similar to our time and place.
"Reik vs. Reich", a work by Haim Maor that was first presented in 1994 (Art Focus, Givat Haviva), places the symbol of the Reich and the symbol of Hashomer Hatzair on two opposite sides, centering on the story of Haviva Reik, the woman who was left out of the great ethos of the paratroopers, the heroes of the war, and after whom Givat Haviva is named. Haviva Reik and the group of paratroopers, who perished with her in their brave mission on the burning European soil, did not become part of the national myth created entirely around Hannah Szenes.
The gap between the historical case and the myth is at the base of Givat Haviva's name, and will continue to emerge along its 70-year axis between idea and reality. The gap between the ethos of the common path held by the leaders of the Movement, Yaari and Hazan, and the personal path of the individual in the form of a sweet memory from the days of "10th Grade Interested Seminar", can be found in the sensitive work of Tal Badrak. The work also features the gap between those mythological memories and their subsequent dissolution.
Yossi Veissid created an experiment in memory and narrative when he took the space of the octagonal library in Givat Haviva and created 'Blue / Yellow / Anger', a work based entirely on intuition and his subjective memory of Tamar Geter's mural from 1994. Elusive memory sends us to examine how solid are the narratives that currently exist in Israeli society and activate its present and its future. In the same way we can now take a new look at the 'Dissolving Myths' by Haim Maor.
'Ezekiel', the character of Abba Kovner in the work of Michael Kovner (Ein HaHoresh - Jerusalem) and the Burning Books triptych by Guy Bar-Amotz (Ma'abarot - London), remind us and serve as a warning: the Holocaust and the occupation are both here.
The Heritage Institute working for education against racism is an important cell in the body of Givat Haviva. "Brotherhood of Nations," the phrase inherent to Hashomer Hatzair ideology, directs Bar-Amotz both outward toward society but also as a critical look directed inward.
Tzila Liss' 'Journey at the Foot of the Hill' is the journey of the red flag (socialism / social justice) and the black flag (The Black Flags Protest) together, taking along the way the baggage of Hashomer Hatzair, the kibbutz, the leadership. Where are they headed? Where will they go? Liss, who always embarks on a journey, usually an individual one, was surprised when she found herself taking all these shared valuables with her; Yuval Danieli calls us in the monumental work 'Al Hamishmar!' to stand guard over these values ??and this path, especially now. Let us not forget that most of humanity has humanistic values; the values ??of integrity, equality and brotherhood are the shared by the majority of people. We are also the majority in Israel. Why then is this majority unable to prevail now and lead Israel in these directions?
The value of the kibbutz togetherness is unique in all the changes it has undergone. Shaul Knaz wrote about it in the booklet "The End of Togetherness", and he asks about it in his work 'What do you say': How much? Who? You? Me? She? We? They?
The same 'Layout for a Dream' that the movement and ideology weaved, is not just the absolute collective togetherness of the early years, or the Jewish-Arab coexistence of the beginning. The complex and multifaceted togetherness that is examined according to the degree of humanity is the active component of today. For those who currently work in Givat Haviva, it is tangible on a daily basis.
Givat Haviva has always pulsated with multiculturalism. It is not easy or simple. The gaps are often large but a multicultural perception creates better people and a better humanity and is necessary in a global world and in conflict zones. This perception led Eti Amram, artist, director of the center and curator of the gallery in the years 1993-2015, to see with different eyes, to develop the muscle of perceptual flexibility, to do and to create. She creates the figures of the bird and the deer, the portrait of man and the self, soil and metal, from and on top of each other, different yet connected.
The creative motif is central to all developmental theories as a constructive element of personality. Artists have the tools to create in a direct way, bypassing the rational mind, fixed consciousness and emotional barriers, thus contributing to the viewers' ability to see the other. Art affects us in a quantum manner - simultaneously and multidimensionally.
It is no coincidence that Avner Singer, a ceramics artist, who leads the School of Ceramics, one of the pillars of the Givat Haviva Collaborative Art Center, speaks the same language: His work 'Clay People' places the human creative individual at the center, as one who knows openness, sensitivity, and shared connections. This is not an innocent perception; the gaps in his second work, created by the separation of a material from a similar material, which refuses to be adhered to, are noticeable, but they do not threaten the existence of the vessel.
The same ceramic but also conceptual vessel appears in Shlomit Bauman's work 'Broken, Vessel.' "What vessel do we have in our hands today? Are all the old vessels really broken? Could it be that they have been put together in a new, more flexible, elastic way, adapted to the third millennium, only we have not yet been able to see it? Or is the work not yet complete?
Maybe it will never be complete, and life will ask us for constant movement within permanence, transience within continuity, flexibility within structure, allowing for constant configurations?
Claudette Zorea's readymade piece, 'Untitled (One hundred stones)' gathers into a shopping cart objects from different decades reminiscent of times, ways of life, principles and understandings that we can collect as milestones, while at the same time we must keep moving.
So what is the kibbutz? A group? An idea? A life perspective? A community? Mutual human responsibility? The kibbutz no longer has the same shape.  In 1994, in the significant art project Art Focus, whose partial representation appears here in the exhibition, Tali Tamir wrote that an exhibition and art that reflects critical thoughts about the kibbutz itself were not possible ten years earlier. The criticism, cracks, doubts and years that had been fixed in the kibbutz consciousness as the failure of the kibbutz were engraved too strongly and for too many years. We must remember that these are not only the necessary elements for art but also for democracy. Today, after a long journey in which the kibbutz (the practice, not necessarily the idea) is back on its feet economically, socially, demographically, can the ideology be reconfigured?
Even if we are not sure that personally and privately "we are strong", could it be that "we will not have the courage" together? Shirly Bar Amotz in her work 'I Did Not Have the Courage' weaves the word 'strong' in a Sisyphean and fragile way, using techniques of three-dimensional printing. The requirement in the past of every individual to be strong in spite of everything and thus to give up his/her feelings, desires and personal fulfillment, has often broken his/her spirit.
A weak individual no longer produces a strong group as in the past, so how many more years will we hold on to the equations of the individual versus the collective?
The individual in the kibbutz is strong today. Will we know how to harness our personal strengths into a common collective strength?
Our time, the age of post-post-modernism that puts the "untruth" ("fake news") on a par with the truth, presents us with the need to redefine so much: the value of truth, documentation, exposing injustices, documentary photography, journalistic practice, and within that the Al HaMishmar newspaper. Boaz Lanir worked for 20 years as a documentary photographer for the newspaper, and his photographs in his work 'Requiem for Al HaMishmar Newspaper' show it all. Yaacov Shofar highlights this in his 'Playing with Fire' as he places Gaza burning on both sides in a series of black-and-white photographs from within, from the first Intifada (1987), alongside a series of saturated color photographs of fires in the Gaza Envelope (2018).  It is a gap of 30 years, and these days (2021) we find ourselves there once again, almost 35 years later. What has changed? When will it change? When will we be able to change?
Osnat Reisman ben Shalom, an artist, art teacher in the special arts class who worked at the art center, and co-curator of the gallery (with Eti Amram), shows holiday celebrations and nature in the kibbutz. The celebration of the holidays and the emphasis on togetherness is not just a setting. In the idea of the kibbutz, the connection with nature is necessary for the creation of a better person, for openness and connection, over alienation and disconnection. It is no coincidence that the kibbutzim were designed with such a connection to nature and agriculture: their center is the main lawn; their perimeter is the fields and their arteries - the unique landscaping of each kibbutz. Givat Haviva is designed exactly like this. Space creates an environment, which creates conditions that create a sane society.
After the past year we know that humanity is required to reconnect with nature, and that the intimacy that the children of the current generation know is mainly expressed in their relationship with the screen. That is why relationship, community, partnership and mutual responsibility need a natural space in which they can flourish.
This is precisely what Amit Cabessa and Atar Geva are talking about. They grew a hill, like those that can be seen today at countless points along the side of the road at the edges of construction sites - hills of debris and concrete. But even on the side of the road, nature and spirit break through the concrete and grow. This is the hill and the spirit within. This is the spirit in us all.
Post Scriptum:
Seventy years later…
Michal Schreiber (Nir David – Pardes Hanna), performance artist and archivist, wants to rest between what she grew up with and what she had left behind that suddenly surrounds her on all sides in the Yad Ya'ari archive       "... between the shelves that curate the work and struggle of kibbutz artists..." She vacillates between action and the will to rest, perhaps like the kibbutz, a bit like the Left political camp, unlike Givat Haviva that reinvents itself again and again, like a phoenix.
• In the one-time catalog of the exhibition you will find the artists' thoughts on their work, make sure you look at it!
Anat Lidror, Curator

location - The GH Art Gallery

Time - 22/05/2021 to - 17/07/2021

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