Following the second competition of “Light and Matter”, The Israel Museum, in conjunction with The Adi Foundation, opened the “Lights” exhibit. “Lights”, which ran for eight months, combined the creations of the twelve finalists of the “Light and Matter” competition, artworks inspired by the artists’ workshops held by The Adi Foundation, and several works from the collection of The Israel Museum. The exhibition examines the concept of light and its manifestations in art and design. The artworks in the exhibition explore light as an essence, an independent entity with symbolic, spiritual and emotional characteristics. The opening ceremony was attended by the former minister of education, Limor Livnat. The Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design was awarded to Zelig Segal for his creation “To Touch the Light”.
Click here for the partial text of the speech given by the curator of the exhibition, Amitai Mendelsohn. (For the full text, please visit The Israel Museum’s website www.imj.org.il)
The exhibition was a collaboration of The Adi Foundation and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The third Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design called for entries dealing with the theme “One and All.” A seductive subject, “One and All” is seemingly wide and varied, and open to a multitude of interpretations. It becomes more specific and complex, however, within the context of The Adi Foundation's mandate of exploring the affinities between Judaism, art, and design. The Hebrew linguistic root for both words – yahid (one, alone, single) and yahad (together, all) – is yud-het-daled, and this joint root is central to the understanding of what connects and separates the terms: the "one" is intrinsically embedded within the "all," and the subtle difference that transforms the meaning of a word into its opposite is the addition or removal of one letter.
At the center of the exhibition were works by the thirteen artists who reached the final round of the competition; to this core group have been added pieces by other Israeli artists who have dealt with different aspects of the subject matter. It is possible to divide the exhibition into two parts: one featuring works by artists who take their inspiration from Judaism and Jewish ritual, and the second displaying those that are more rooted in contemporary social discourse and deal with the role of the individual within a society.
Judaism is a communal religion. In order to be an active, observant Jew, it is necessary to participate as a member of a community. A Jew needs a minyan – a quorum of at least ten – to recite portions of the daily liturgy. These communal aspects of Judaism are reflected in the work of several artists in the exhibition, including Dov Abramson, Muli Ben Sasson, and Yossi Galanti.
The second group in the exhibition explored the concept of One and All within the context of contemporary Israeli society. Many individuals are required to make up a collective; David Wakstein and the Painting Team focus on the function of the artist in society and the power to bring about change through the arts. The product of a continuing social project initiated by Wakstein, their mosaic installation demonstrates the individual’s quest to achieve tikkun olam (mending of the world), made possible through the efforts of every human being to improve the community in which he or she lives. Other works, such as those by Dana Levy, Orit Adar Bechar, Israel Rabinovitz, and Avraham Eilat deal with the role of the artist as witness and as arbiter of social conscience.
Another trend within the exhibition that transverses the two groups is the formal expression of the subject matter: the visual merging of the "one" within the "all" is prominent in the works of Uriel Miron, Jack Jano, and Ronit Agassi.
Curator: Timna Seligman