Place Relations: Identity in Contemporary Israeli Avant-Garde Art

Place Relations is a new programming initiative that will take shape as an ongoing exhibition and performance series exploring notions of cultural identity from a variety of places around the world. The inaugural iteration Place Relations: Identity in Contemporary Israeli Avant Garde Art will feature a shifting roster of artists from Israel whose rotating work will be placed in a series of conversations with one another. By providing audiences with an array of diverse individual perspectives shaped by varied and unique experiences, CEPA’s goal is to elaborate upon, broaden, and humanize the unique historical, political, and cultural atmosphere of the Israeli diaspora. We hope to prompt critical engagement and an open dialogue about the ways in which identity is shaped by culture, and in turn, how notions of identity come to reshape culture.

Place Relations: Identity in Contemporary Israeli Avant Garde Art will feature work by Re’em Aharoni, Yael Bartana, Tamy Ben-Tor, Miki Carmi, Keren Cytter, Dor Guez, Adi Nes, Barak Zemer and a screening of work by Guy Ben-Ner. In addition to the many full scale gallery installs, there will be additional film screenings and other related programming throughout the run of the exhibition.

These projects and performances will examine the role of the avant-garde as an indicator of shifting currents in the larger cultural landscape. Through individual perspectives, viewpoints that have been shaped by the experiences of those living amidst the current political and cultural circumstances of Israel, the exhibition seeks to deconstruct and dismantle the stereotypes and preconceptions that often dominate the larger global understanding about those who hail from the region.

Exhibit Location

CEPA Gallery
617 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

Exhibit Dates

Opening Reception:
Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 29-January 6, 2018



About the Artists

About R’M Aharoni

June 29 – September 23, 2017
Opening Thursday, June 29, 2017

R’m Aharoni is an interdisciplinary artist. He was born into a Yemenite-Adeni-Jewish family, and grew up in Israel. His familial and personal experiences with the effects of mixed communities, diaspora narratives, religion, and social and national demands have led to an artistic interest in biographies. In his work Aharoni explores personal histories as a means to document and record the way individuals inhabit the world. This often means that one’s biography extends throughout time and space and is influenced by places never visited, and times and people one has never experienced or met. His artistic practice is a constant negotiation between the private and the collective, the specific and the general.

About Barak Zemer

August 10 – October 7, 2017
Opening Thursday, August 10, 2017

Barak Zemer was raised in Israel and currently resides in Los Angeles. He uses the camera as a mapping device, an instrument that surveys, marks or manipulates, allowing him to define his reality. Through this tracking process, Zemer ammases a vast and incoherent collection of items. He moves these artifacts around and builds sequences until a fictional reality emerges. In this reality the hierarchies between animals, objects, and people disappear. Torn carpet on an elevator wall turns into flesh, his own hand transforms into a gruesome plant, a dead fish turns into a live monster. The world conveyed blurs the line between what may seem stumbled upon, staged, or manipulated. It holds the threat of collapsing the distinction between what is perceived as alive or dead, good or bad. The images become an isolated system of symbols that displace notions of time and place.

About Adi Nes

September 15 – November 4, 2017
Opening Friday, September 15, 2017

Adi Nes, the son of Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Iran, is a photographer who makes meticulously crafted images that are both autobiographical and attest to living in a country in conflict. Nes’s photographs are reminiscent of Renaissance or Baroque paintings, often based on parables and collective cultural memory. Sexual tension is ever-present in Nes’ work, as he delves into complex explorations of homoeroticism. His goal is to reveal a universal humanism in his dramatic portraits.

About Yael Bartana

October 13 – November 25, 2017

Yael Bartana is a video artist who explores the imagery of cultural identity. In her photographs, films and installations Bartana critically investigates her native country’s struggle for identity. Her early work documents collective rituals introducing alienation effects such as slow-motion and sound. In her recent work the artist stages situations and introduces fictive moments into real existing narratives. In 2011, Bartana represented Poland on the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale.

About Tamy Ben-Tor & Miki Carmi

October 26 – December 16, 2017
Opening Friday October 27 6-8pm
w/performance at 8pm
Made possible through the generous support of
Dr. Amy and Dr. Julio Alvarez-Perez

Longstanding collaborators in life and art, performance artist Tamy Ben-Tor and painter Miki Carmi, excavate and analyze human archetypes through their philosophically oriented practice. Using different approaches, both artists strip their subjects bare, revealing the marks that define each subject’s neurotic psychological state, resulting in the undeniable tension between material life and the desires of the soul. Tamy’s performances and Miki’s painting are made in a shared space through constant dialogue, and fuse into singular projects through video works.

About Keren Cytter

November 10, 2017 – January 6, 2018

Cytter has developed a large body of work including, particularly, films and video suites that adopt a nonlinear narrative. The artist remarkably plays with the notion of the real and the fictitious, using nonprofessional actors and handheld camera techniques. Her films are deconstructing the modern principles of cinema, balancing between performance and theatre. Language plays a central role in her work with plot lines and the structure influenced by the formal devices of poetry. Her filmic representations add up to paint a surrealistic picture riddled with existentialist concerns about love, hate and the human condition. They are at once a dark and comical reflection on todayʼs society.

About Dor Guez

November 17, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Opening Friday, November 17, 2017
Made possible through the generous support of Booksmart Studio

Dor Guez is an artist and a scholar who lives in Jaffa. His work interrogates personal and official accounts of the past while revealing histories that were previously absent. His practice raises questions about contemporary art’s role in narrating unwritten histories, and re-contextualizing visual and written documents. The artist’s cultural heritage, Christian Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian, is reflected in his artistic interest. Guez’s work has been the subject of over 25 solo exhibitions worldwide, with his most recent at the ICA in London, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit.