Mazal U'Bracha

Beit Hatfutsot (ANU) - The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv
Objects (Amulets), from the exhibition "Mazal U'Bracha, Myth and Superstition in Contemporary Israeli Art"
Curator: Carmit Blumensohn


Artists: Shai Azoulay, Deganit Berest, Yair Garbuz, Yosef-Joseph Dadoune, Gary Goldstein, Raafat Hattab, Larva (Maya Attoun & Meital Katz Minerbo), Assi Meshullam, Ravit Mishli, Shony Rivnai, Avi Sabah, Khen Shish, Nurit Yarden

The exhibition unfolds an array of popular and social references to amulets and signs of luck, as manifested in contemporary Israeli art. It explores themes and concepts such as superstition, Jewish and universal myths, blessings, prayers, and folk remedies from diverse perspectives which range from faith and acceptance to a critical approach. The exhibition route begins with a presentation of authentic faith-mediating objects, both ancient and modern, from William Gross’s rich collection, and continues with processed manifestations of more sophisticated references to worship “aids” as they take shape in the work of 13 contemporary artists.

All of the participating artists blend a private-intimate touch with social-collective contexts, the conscious and the unconscious, which they assimilate into a personal artistic language. Each in his/her own way relies on the cultural materials which stimulate him, introducing questions regarding his own cultural-genetic code and that of his surroundings, which pertains to questions of identity and affiliation.

The featured works are based on recognition of the human need to belong and feel protected, stemming from the realization that culture, myths, folklore, and faith form a dynamic system which constantly nourishes itself by means of accumulation and selection, and through a sense of belonging. Most of the works were created especially for the exhibition. They allude to the world of mysticism, while corresponding with the permanent display around them. The exhibition includes amulets from the Gross Family collection, as well as a video “Hidden Details”: presenting details from the works of the 13 artists participating in the exhibition.


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