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Living Under Water. A Jewish exploration of Climate Change (EN/PL)

24.06.2022 - 18:00 / Mostowa Art Café, ul. Mostowa 8

Artists: Dov Abramson, Andi Arnovitz, Lynne Avadenka, Meydad Eliyahu, Ken Goldman, Leora Wise
Curator: Andi Arnovitz

For the sake of heaven, we must find ways of repairing our world and the destructive course of our planet. In 2018 Beit Venezia- the home for Jewish culture in Venice decided there was urgent need for an exploration of climate change as seen through a uniquely Jewish lens- and through the ability of artists to create powerful responses.  Five international artists were invited to Venice:  Meydad Eliyahu, Leora Wise, Lynne Avadenka, Ken Goldman and Andi Arnovitz. These artists explored our environmental woes through the portal of the city that sadly, best reflects this crisis—Venice. Ancient, breathtakingly, beautiful Venice. A city once the home of a rich, Jewish culture, now faced with a dwindling Jewish population yet with a vibrant and evocative Ghetto. A city which is sinking and whose very existence is threatened by rising sea levels, tourists and time.

The artists listened to rabbis, scholars and activists. Giuseppe Balzano and Shaul Bassi of Beit Venezia guided them through Jewish Venice.  The artists visited the lagoon. In the renowned Venetian Scuola Internazionale di Grafica they created a suite of ten etchings. These creatives kept sketchbooks- participated in an on-going intervention where each artist left their mark, which was then altered by the next artist. Objects were created- using ready-mades as a visually loaded platform for expressing the artist’s concerns. Dov Abramson was tasked with creating a graphic, compelling resource- a 60 page zine.

The resulting exhibition is one which compels us to think, act and respond. Through multi-disciplinary artistic explorations the viewer can confront and synthesize this complex crisis. Far reaching, “Living Under Water” gives us both written material to reflect upon and a powerful visual vocabulary for processing this global crisis.

Four years later, the themes are still relevant, and now, as Krakow reels from absorbing a wave of displaced refugees, the relationships between Kazimierz (once an island connected to Krakow and home to Jews and Jewish scholarship) and Venice, also an island and home for Jews and scholarship) are more entwined. Two ancient cities grappling with many of the same challenges.

Ken Goldman is a multidisciplinary ex-pat American artist Living and working on Kibbutz Shluchot in Israel for over almost forty years. In His practice Goldman explores subjects of both personal and public nature such as faith, gender, community, otherness, religion and mortality.
Goldman’s works are found in museums and private collections in Israel, Europe, and the United States. Most recently Ken has just finished his second Holocaust monument in the erased cemetery of Kaluszyn Poland.

Leora Wise, who lives and works in Jerusalem, is a painter, printer and stage performer. Her work is figurative and narrative, its characters and content sourced in mythology, folktales and family history.
Leora has performed and exhibited in Israel and around the world: The Israel Museum, Bible Lands Museum, David’s Tower Museum, the annual international puppet festival in Taiwan, and many fringe and site specific events. She recently collaborated with author David Grossman on a series of murals illustrating his book “Someone to Run With“ installed on buildings in downtown Jerusalem.

Lynne Avadenka is an American artist/printmaker known for her works that explore text and image, the physical and philosophical idea of the book, and the mystery and beauty of visual language. Among Avadenka’s many awards are individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Residencies and teaching opportunities have taken her to Germany, Israel, Italy and many US locations. Avadenka’s art is exhibited and collected internationally, including The British Library, London; The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The New York Public Library; The Meermano Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands and The Watson Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Meydad Eliyahu is a Jerusalem-based artist, curator, and educator. He works mainly on site-specific projects. Among his recent projects and exhibitions: The Box of Documents as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 – Kashi Art Gallery project, Red Crown, Green Parrot, a public art project in Jew Town Kochi, as part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018, and Threshold, in the Wilfrid Israel Museum of Asian Art and Studies, Israel,2020.

Andi Arnovitz lives in Jerusalem, Israel. She is a conceptual artist, using etching, digital information and various printmaking processes, as well as fabric, thread and even porcelain to create both print series, artist books and large-scale installations.
Andi has exhibited her work in Europe, Asia and North America. Her work is in many private collections in both the United States and in Europe, as well as major universities, museums and institutions, including the US Library of Congress, the Israel National Library, The Museum of Art in Ein Harod, Yeshiva University Museum, The Museum of the Diaspora, Yale University, UCLA, and The Smithsonian Museum of American History.