December 11, 2011

Magic Lantern, Israel Museum: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art

Magic Lantern: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art 
Israel Museum, Jerusalem 
Throught April 30, 2012

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, presents a selection of 18 recent acquisitions and gifts of international and Israeli contemporary art. Magic Lantern: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art brings together works in a range of mediums by an international cadre of artists, including Vahram Aghasyan, Ilit Azoulay, Luis Camnitzer, Isaac Julien, Jonathan Monk, Adrian Paci, Anila Rubiku, Yehudit Sasportas, Hiraki Sawa, Jan Tichy, and Maya Zak, among others, all of which explore the theme of enchantment

Whether in landscapes or interior scenes, the works in Magic Lantern invoke the world of legend, daydream, fantasy and illusion. Through imaginary journeys, blurred silhouettes in the mist, flickering flames and dark forest shadows, the real world assumes the diffuse contours of something magical. The exhibition features works in a range of mediums, including installation, photography, video and film.

Highlights include:

- VAHRAM AGHASYAN: photographic series Ghost City (2005-2007), showing the actual state of a utopian urban development—a housing project planned in Armenia by the Soviet regime but left unfinished when the USSR collapsed, and now overtaken by seemingly apocalyptic floodwaters. In his photography, Aghasyan investigates sites and structures that originated during the Soviet era but are non-functional, incomplete or irrelevant in their current socio-political environment.

- ILLIT AZOULAY: Tree for Too One, The Keys, Window (2010), a work composed of thousands of photographs of a variety of objects and people, taken from several angles and then pieced together. Shapes and sizes are reworked digitally and recast as a single image, creating a new photographic reality in which multiple layers of being, memory and association exist simultaneously in one coherent whole.

- JONATHAN MONK: Candle Film (2009), made up of eight 16 mm films of a candle filmed as it changes slowly over time. The 16 mm film and film projector require that the reels be changed on a regular basis —approximately once every hour— by a technician. 

- MAYA ZACK: Living Room (2009), which recreates the interior of an apartment in Berlin just before it was abandoned in 1938by means of computer visualization. Based on the artist's interview with Yair Noam and his description of his childhood home, the work addresses such questions as the limitations of memory, the imagination of the artist, and the impossibility of recapturing what has been lost.

Magic Lantern is curated by Suzanne Landau, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Fine Arts and Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.

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