Alma Alloro studied in the Midrasha Beit-Berl School of Art in Israel and concluded her further studies in the Bauhaus University of Weimar. In pen drawings on architectural paper, later developed into short frenetic animation pieces, Alloro revives the Bauhaus movement’s celebrated core symbols (the triangle, square and circle), only to desecrate their purity altogether. Furthermore, the bare technical grid-aesthetics of these corrupted designs and the recurring mechanical apparatus generating the clips, are also reminiscent of a more primary ideal: Germany’s longtime ethos as spearhead of Europe’s industry and production line. However, lacking a decisive objective or directing ideology, Alloro’s practice parades these founding modernistic national elements into an amusing low-tech salad of dysfunctional glitch. Germany’s healthy orderly functional maneuvers are rendered masturbatory, Alloro’s hand crafted laundry machine washes away Bauhaus’s refined ideology of functional beauty, trades its iconic solid colors with hyper-saturated radiance and leaves our eyes transfixed on the perfectly geometric stain.
Dorit Bialer studied visual-communications and design in Jerusalem’s Bezalel academy. The line between contemplative design and purely artistic social commentary fluctuates in her work constantly. Through her use of graphic tools, Bialer creates elaborate visual puzzles bearing the likes of strict yet playful Infographic aesthetics. In them, she attempt to map down various common perplexed social situations characteristic of the Berliner post-modern multicultural present state. Here in her current presented work too, Bialer has systematically orchestrated a symbolic layout which follows the logic of a game board, somewhat echoing Nazi propaganda posters. The corresponding theme of the map is the integration of Jewish Israelis in Berlin, outlining their conventional routes in the process and pinpointing the dilemmas and obstacles that anticipate them. All of Bialer’s observations are carried out in a simultaneously critical and humorous manner.
Benyamin Reich attended the Bezalel art academy in Jerusalem. His earlier works focused on the visual traits of the Ultra Orthodox Israeli subculture, from which point he extended his observations on to the country’s contemporary landscape, always maintaining a nostalgic position, reaching out to biblical idealistic landscape representation. The result is landscape photography which remains true to Utopian perception, seeking to reinvigorate the found israeli scenery with spirituality. Although seemingly oriented to the “holy land” alone, Reich has brought this very aspiration to Berlin as well and has managed to successfully implement it in his current outlook on the city’s religious assets. Here he searches for the connecting points between seemingly distant spiritual sanctuaries. Despite their ongoing rivalry, Christianity and Judaism grew together side by side throughout the ongoing European history, up from the establishment of the early Jewish diaspora and up until Judaism’s notable diminishing and near expulsion during WWII. Reich studies the similarities of sacred artifacts, objects and relics and finds that the interior design of both churches and synagogues reveal symbiotic traits, indicating of the intercultural discourse between the two separate religious institutions.
Lior Wilentzik attended the Midrasha Beit-Berl School of Art in Israel. Her work tackles unattended organic and decorative imagery inside “casual” living space. Judaism’s tendency towards visual minimalism along with Israel’s young history – characterized at the same time by pragmatic socialism and militarism – created a plain visual environment lacking decoration. Paradoxically, acquiring one’s visual orientation in such aesthetically dry environment, invokes the desire for extreme inspection of its scarce use of aesthetics. And so trained in this visual dissection, Wilentzik now comes to question the nature of classic German decoration as well and its residing effects on contemporary design trends. Germany in comparison to Israel is characterized by a rich decorative legacy, hand in hand with its rigid imperialistic Christian past. The raw footage at the foundation of Wilentzik’s current series, Mashy Trashy Crosses, was all gathered from various Christian cemeteries in Berlin. Selected images were then processed digitally into icon-like collages, swaying on the lines of graphically sharpened, gravely charged symbolism and genuine vibrant decoration. This aestheticizing of politics is used here solely as a contemplative practice rather than a strategic means.
Shira Wachsmann studied in the Berlin Weissensee School of Art. Her works deal with our multilayered relation to land, in both respects: land as „earth“ and land as „place“. There is no single recurring creative method, yet despite the polar variety of thoroughly executed techniques, an authentic reciprocity is constantly maintained in the works – bridging between the conceptual-representative and the bare organic. The materials in the forms conceived, refer to sanctuaries and rituals. Natural substances such as soil, metal, coal, straw and foliage convey history – be it signs indicating a collective and personal memory, or naturalistic structures, such as the bird’s nest, whose very obsessive-like Sisyphean formation adheres to the historical process of its creation. Altogether, In profound confrontation with biblical and philosophical ideas, Wachsmann thematizes the concept of „home“ and how this topos can provide insight into the origins of identity. Within the governing premise of this group show, one might be drawn to ponder on the manifestation of this key notion within the confines of the vast metropolitan zone.