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Nir Alon - Oh, The Promised Land

Solo exhibitoin, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim

15.01.09 - 14.02.09

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Oh, The Promised Land, 2009, general view (1), Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim

"Oh, the promised land“

Sebastian Fath


The drawings of this exhibition are the 5th part of a long working process – that was shown in the last years.

In this line deals the artist with my position in the culture and society he lives in.

The beginning was in the show „In case of leftovers” (Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim )and continuing in the exhibition “we just make a trip” (Appel Gallery, Frankfurt a.M, 2006), “You’re speaking my language” (Chelouche Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Sept. 2006) and “The state of things” (Tinderbox Contemporary, Hamburg, January 2007).

Closing the circle and showing the last step –present now in this show.

In all shows showed the artist installations made of touched-hanged furniture, in a very delicate balance, and a burning light bulbs on the floor.

In the first one -„In case of leftovers” – handled with the way the German society deals with him – a leftover of a lost and forgotten culture. As such he carrys leftovers of language and culture, humor and cultural distinctions that seems belong to both sides.

In the second one, “we just make a trip” at Appel Gallery, Frankfurt handled with definitions and patterns (linguistic and behavior as well) he is belonged with: the title of the installation refers in two sides: in one hand light – like: “look, we just make a trip together” and in the other hand a very serious: “in every journey that we will make together, we will always remember who you are and who I am”.

In the third show “You’re speaking my language “at Chelouche Gallery of Contemporary Art handled with another side of this subject:
As Israeli he approached his Israeli audience and told them: you and I speak the same language. The deep meaning of it was that he and his audience understand each other (verbal and behavior ways). One can see it as an invocation for belonging.
Looking deep into it one sees gap: what kind of mutual language he is talking about?
Regarding the Hebrew language, after five years his Hebrew sounded a little bit “old”, not up to date. This language that invents it self every day new, didn’t afresh it self by the artist.
And in his visual language, his art, Alon was long before his move to Germany, some “not belong”. After five years away he showed mainly the on-growing gap.

In the 4th show, “The state of things” at Tinderbox Contemporary, Hamburg the artist took the first step to establish a “ground-touch” installation and the main idea was to deal wit accepting his position as an outsider, belong and not belong to his roots and to his current place of living.

Now, at this present exhibition shows the artist mainly drawings.

The title “Oh, the promised land” is two sided title:
In one hand – longing to his home place –the culture and the language, although it is not existing for him any more (so – longing to something which is only in his dreams…a wishful thinking).
In other hand – putting his current place, because he decided to buy an apartment here, and to establish his life here, as the Promised Land.

It is by definition – a promised land that once disappointed him and his culture, but now promises the artist, maybe, a better place…
Or – maybe…it will stay also as a wishful thinking…

Therefore shows the artist mainly drawings – as telling his viewers: it is not (yet) for real…just a plan…let us wait and see…

And if you want to – there is also the political aspect (political-cultural in a wide range): What is the Promised Land? Is it a longing to culture or building the culture?
Is it something you was promised to have or something you establish for your self?
Can his home land, which culturally defined as the Promised Land – stop being like this –because the promises are not fulfil themselves and can Germany become such as?
This is a question of what happened after the war when two cultures, the Germans and Israelis started to build from start…what is going on now? Where is the Promised Land?

Maybe – not being anymore Israeli, not being yet German, the in-between situation (like Judaism – that live “here” and longing to “there”) is the only way to be in the Promised Land?

This is why the title starts with “Oh…”
Oh, as crying because of the lost –
Or –
Oh, as surprise of finding it.


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