Placing Memory (Gal Cohen & Zac Hacmon)

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Some photos of paintings by Gal Cohen and sculpture by Zac Hacmon from their recent and thoughtful two-person show downtown on the Lower East, Placing Memory. With Hadera, Israel as their critical touchstone, the paintings explore the evisceration of the historical past and its memory as old ruined structures that go back to the beginning of new Jewish settlement over a century ago give way to contemporary built structures. Featured is Tzila Feinberg (third photo from the top),  a feminist pioneer and Zionist activist from the time of the Second Aliyah, whose reclining figure is cut into two by old architectural features. Hacmon’s sculptures are absurdist fabrications that could be from anywhere and nowhere. Brought by the exhibition into a conversation with the Israeli past, these sculptures speak to new gentrification in Israel, signaled by bright, tiled bathroom and shower pseudo fixtures that have zero use-value. (Caveat lector, Gal Cohen is my cousin.) (For more on the show, you can read this review here.)

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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