Lawrence Weiner In Israel

Weiner: “The picture-frame convention was a very real thing. The painting stopped at the edge. When you are dealing with language, there is no edge that the picture drops over or drops of. You are dealing with something completely infinite. Language, because it is the most non-objective thing we have ever developed in this world, never stops”.

Lawrence Weiner, Exhibition View

Brooke Loober, Anne Frank, Gaza, Neutral Milk Hotel

Ifound these pictures on Brooke Lober’s blog. Lober is a jewish feminist and Israel critic. You can read more about her at her about page at The University of Arizona (see quote below). Her blog is full of paintings, picures and interesting things about not only Israel and Palestine, but all kind of important and interesting things like music, feminism and art.

Anne Frank, Save Gaza, by Leba. And AF Neutral Milk lyrics street art, artist unknown.

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From her about page at The University of Arizona: «Brooke Lober is a PhD candidate, currently writing a critical history of social movements that addresses some of today’s urgent political struggles by focusing on the “question of Palestine” taken up by a set of interlinked but sometimes opposed historical feminist groups. Through close analysis of feminist practices and ethical frameworks for political engagement expressed in social movement arts and cultural production, this dissertation unearths and reconsiders debates about Zionism and Israeli state practice that took place in the overlapping spaces of the Palestine solidarity movement, anti-imperialist feminist formations, and the U.S. Jewish feminist movement of the late 20th century. A longtime participant in creative subcultures and left social movements, Brooke is engaged in community organizing and education projects, teaches classes in feminist studies, and works as an editorial assistant at Feminist Formations journal.»

Art about Israel And Palestine – ‘Ad de’lo Yoda’ And ‘Summer Camp’

Still from “Ad de’lo Yoda” by Yael Bartana (One channel video installation, 3 min.)

‘Ad de’lo Yoda’ captures a traditional Jewish parade through a crack in a door. Positioning the viewer as an outsider to the celebrations, dancing and colorful costumes are glimpsed momentarily as participants move past the camera. Rather than attempting to explain the ritual’s significance, Bartana’s footage works with theunknowability of identity and heritage that is not our own.

Still from “Summer Camp / Awodah” by Yael Bartana (from 2007. Two channel video and sound installation, 12 min.)

‘Summer Camp’ shows the activities of ‘The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions’ (ICAHD); their actions consist amongst others of rebuilding Palestinian houses in the occupied territories. In the summer of 2006 Bartana filmed a group of ICAHD volunteers consisting of Palestinians, Israeli and various other nationalities, assisted by Palestinian construction workers, who were trying to rebuild in the village of Anata (east of Jerusalem) the former house of Abu Ahmed Al Hadad at exactly the same location where it was demolished by the Israeli authorities at the end of 2005. The result is a phenomenally edited 12 minutes image and sound composition in which Bartana uses the same stylistic devices as the Zionist propaganda films from the first half of the twentieth century. It refers directly to Helmar Lerski’s film ‘Awodah’ from 1934-’35, proclaiming the dream of a Zionist state, which is projected on a second screen.

And that’s partly why I believe Yael Bartana’s art has more potential for reaching out to people than that of provocative artists like Natali Cohen Vaxberg, who shits on the Israeli flag and stages provocative Holocaust monologues at Yad Vashem in her performances. Bartana’s works talks more to emotions and aesthetic moods than the unavoidable simplification of an harsh argument.

Jacques Ovadia (israeli situationist), 1960


“(…)The atrocious paradox of our civilization is that economic powers alone possess the most modern technological means, that they alone have them at their disposal, and that they use these means for the sole purpose of “making more money,” of generating millions to profit from their leisure in an even more ridiculous, more bourgeois, more beastial manner. And with their own lack of desires, the masses find themselves subjugated to the dictatorship of the unions, which for the last fifty years have assumed the patriarchal role of the patron or the ironmaster.

In Israel, a country in the making, these developing forces have so far expressed themselves even more insufficiently, because the problems of “how to live” are imposed on individuals in such a crucifying way. Still bound to ancestral atavisms buried deep in their unconscious, they no longer think — can no longer think — about anything but their own immediate concerns, that is to say about how to increase their creature comforts in the most effective way possible. The population is supplied with human elements that are for the most part primitive, and this fusion is consciously carried out with the gift of American comfort, an obligatory and even forced comfort. These poor fools, blinded by rigid dogma (the worst that the Bible has to offer), taken in by the tarnished halo of socialism and liberalism, are further dazzled by being provided with washing machines, refrigerators, and rather hideous housing. In higher places, an American style unionism is being cemented, and the intellectuality of conscious people is held in suspicion. With such social barriers firmly in place, a clearly delimited caste system is beginning to appear.

But class conflicts don’t even occur in this new supposedly socialist country, which is forged only by a new ruling class that circumstance and the abnegation of a few thousand have placed at the head of an embryonic nation whose various elements are well on their way to being completely homogenized, and above all depersonalized (when they’re not being bribed).

It would have been possible to cling to a hope more tangible than spoken dreams or the desire for a better future, if an exceptional and revolutionary art had burst forth from these conditions and supplied a source for new creation. But deception lives on. An artist wanting to create again, wanting to smash their way out of the stultifying framework of Judaism, is nowhere to be seen.(…)”

Jacques Ovadia

Arnold Newman

Yitzhak Rabin Israel 1967. Copyright © 2015 The Arnold Newman Website | (link sends e-mail )
Yitzhak Rabin Israel 1967. Copyright © 2015 The Arnold Newman Website | (link sends e-mail )


Matthew Israel

Your Instagrams Are Richard Prince Artworks

Matthew Israel

Posted: 10/01/14 03:39 PM ET Updated: 12/01/14 05:59 AM ET

Richard Prince, Untitled (portrait), 2014. Ink jet on canvas. 65 3/4 x 48 3/4 inches (167 x 123.8 cm). © Richard Prince. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

American artist Richard Prince’s current show at Gagosian Gallery in New York, “New Portraits,” features 37 images taken from other peoples’ Instagram accounts, which have been enlarged to roughly 4 x 6 feet and printed on canvas.

Installation view of Richard Prince: New Portraits, September 19-October 25, 2014. Gagosian Gallery 976 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075. © Richard Prince. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

Among the Instagram accounts featured — which span from those of the famous to the unknown and/or relatively unfollowed — are those of:

@nightcoregirl: Princess. Hardcore DJ. Web Developer. @samandude: A musician. @prettypukedood: ? @lauriesimmons: Artist. (Wife of Carroll Dunham and mother of Lena Dunham.) @albertomugrabi: Art collector. @carastricker: Artist, photographer, director and curator. @ta_ep: ? @junglepussy: Rapper. @richardprince4: The artist. @katemossofficialpage: Official? Now no posts… @1jessicahart: Model. @chinachow: Actress, model, daughter of Michael Chow. @rasfotos: Street photographer. @annatrevelyan: Fashion stylist and consultant. @rastajay92: Model, photographer. @karleyslutever: Writer, author of Vogue’s Breathless column. @katem0ss: Fan page for Kate Moss. @skyferreira: Singer-songwriter, model, and actress. @annaballins: ?

Installation view of Richard Prince: New Portraits, September 19-October 25, 2014. Gagosian Gallery 976 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075. © Richard Prince. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

For those familiar with Prince’s work, what he has done here — take others’ images (created in various media) and then exhibit them as his own — is nothing new, and it’s what makes him art-historically significant. Though before Prince, artists — like Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol — had devoted significant space to others’ photographs in their works (via the use of silkscreening, for example) — Prince took the practice one step further in the late 1970s by making such “sampled” images arguably the entirety of his work and showing very little evidence of any transformation or the artist’s hand. Prince’s practice was dubbed re-photography (even though the term is not entirely accurate because he photographs images in advertisements and other contexts, not photographs by themselves) and alongside other artists of what is now known as the Pictures Generation, who approached images in a similar way, Prince opened up various avenues for future artists and questioned how we conceptualize authorship and originality in terms of photography (and art in general). Prince’s practice has also placed him consistently at the edge of copyright infringement, and the subject of copyright is brought up and debated almost anytime his photographic work is shown.

Prince’s most famous works feature images of cowboys taken out of the context of advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes. Arguably just as well-known is his controversial image of Gary Gross’s photograph of a nude, 10-year-old Brooke Shields, which Prince titled Spiritual America. Prince’s Instagram series probably shares the most in common with his “Publicities” series, which collected autographed celebrity images according to similar looks and poses.

Installation view of Richard Prince: New Portraits, September 19-October 25, 2014. Gagosian Gallery 976 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075. © Richard Prince. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

Prince’s Instagram series began with the artist simply “regramming” other people’s images on his own feed. Again, for those who know Prince’s history, Instagram (and particularly regramming) fits perfectly with his long-standing approach to art-making. For this reason, Peter Schjeldahl called the exhibition “fated.” Prince has commented about his engagement with Instagram, “It’s almost like it was invented for someone like myself… It’s like carrying around a gallery in your pocket… Everything became easy.”

Aside from the copyright questions which usually overwhelm the general public’s consideration of any Prince exhibition, what can we take away from this new show? While I am by no means done thinking about this exhibition and re-considering Prince’s work, below are some questions the exhibition provoked me to ask:

#1 Is this a mirror of our present moment — in which social is our primary online activity and Instagram the #2 social service? Is our world — spanning from the art and fashion worlds to users relatively unknown — comprised mostly of us taking sexy selfies or sexy pictures of others? Is this what we’re making such powerful technology in order to do?


Prince has said that he takes a particular pleasure in reminding viewers things exist despite the fact that they might not want to see them, so maybe this is an encapsulation/curation of the seedy or not-necessarily most-public side of Instagram? Maybe this is us facing up to our incessant narcissism and our curiosity for others’ narcissistic images? Looking at these works you can’t help but think about all of these people holding up their phones to post, staring into the little lens, imagining the world potentially looking at them.


It’s been said Prince’s career (and the particular subject matter he focuses on) can be understood as his coming to terms with his own maleness. Are we seeing here an encapsulation of Prince’s own maleness or a conception of contemporary maleness or even the male gaze?


Prince, since his earliest appropriated works, has often been concerned with showing us cultural types. Is this what we’re looking at here? Various types of looks and poses and gestures and attitudes of contemporary portraiture on Instagram? The conventions of displaying sexiness and how we try to connect to users through our faces and bodies? What are some common threads here? The urge to please, a burning desire to escape the mundane and get more likes and recognition and fame? On the subject of fame, Prince’s exhibition of these images is confirmation of the potential fame to be gained from Instagram. The works are a small curated set for the collecting public, “winners” on Instagram now garnering recognition and contemplation in society’s elitist contexts.


Has Prince frozen and printed these images to take us out of the endless scroll of Instagram feeds and to encourage us to take a long look at them? Are we supposed to realize they are fictions, too good to be true, even if they are time- and (often) location-stamped and given the appearance of something which actually happened? Yet at the same time, this is a push-pull relationship, as these alluring fictions constantly pull us back to look at them.


Like Prince’s “Publicities” series, these works encourage viewers to learn more about the pictures. However with Instagram, it’s incredibly easy. In this way, a big part of this show is the spectator looking up the different accounts to learn more about these Instagram users. Hence my listing them first thing. But then how much does Instagram actually tell us about them or anyone?


As usual with Prince’s work, how do we think about authorship here? Are these entirely Prince’s works or is there something else to be said here in terms of collaboration since they are photographs of Instagrams with the accompanying username — which immediately testifies that they are not by Richard Prince. And what about considering them in the realm of performance art, because there is also the added element of Prince’s participation in the comments field, in what Jerry Saltz called “a rock-‘n’-roll hip-hop ghetto patois of street dude, hipster, showman, Vegas lounge-lizard, flimflammer, voyeur, and hunter.” Is this Prince himself writing in or him taking on the role of someone else (or many others)?


Do we find this show provocative, stirring up questions like I have just shared or too easy, too simple, already behind the times? Yes, these #regrams are on canvas and IRL but reposting, regramming and re-tumblring has been happening for quite some time.

As always, please feel free to send me your feedback, either here or on Twitter. This is the eighth in a series of posts on individual artworks and series. Previous posts have concerned Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Banksy, Damien Hirst, Vik Muniz, and William Eggleston.

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