When: Thursday April 9, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Aaron Burr Hall, room 219
“The thrill of adventure and possible woes of a journey are embedded in Israeli and Jewish culture since the days of the Bible. Abraham, the mythological Jewish Patriarch, was told to leave his homeland and “go forth”. Jacob, Josef, Ruth, Jonah, Esther—all Biblical protagonists who partake of a formative journey, or spend their entire lives outside their homeland.
The New Testament and the rise of Christianity brought with it the reversal of this myth—the idea of the wanderer was projected back unto the Jews as a punishment. The “Wandering Jew” became a libel, a symbol of sin, stubbornness and divine punishment.
Modern times have brought another twist to this archetype—“The New World” made adventurers out of refugees, and vice versa. The decline of organized religion and the rise of nationality, mass immigrations, two world wars and the foundation of the state of Israel have all put new perspectives on any journey one takes.
Modernity and urbanization also helped with the re-appropriation of wanderings. Walter Banjamin wrote of ‘Le Flâneur’: “The crowd was the veil from behind which the familiar city as phantasmagoria beckoned to the flâneur. In it, the city was now landscape, now a room.” The city had become a set for wanderings and wonders to be perceived by the individual. The street became a room—a room much like a museum.
The late half of the 20th century saw the reclamation of the “wandering Jew.” Israelis and Jews now travel and wander the earth out of choice. As they do so, they inadvertently face questions of multiple origins, split identities and many, very different, possibilities for their future, as individuals and as a people.
This exhibition aims to showcase the work of Israeli cartoonists and their work concerning voyages, journeys and wanderings. In their works, these artists are many times forced to deal with questions of origin, nationality, particularity and universality, religion, tradition, and personal identity.”
This exhibition will feature the works of many artists—from Leipzig born Fridel Stern, to Michel Kichka, Rutu Modan and Merav Solomon.