Wednesday, October 30, 2013

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Quds has an article today about how the Israel Museum is erasing Palestinian (Arab) history in its exhibitions, by either "stealing" archaeological artifacts from Canaanite times or by not mentioning the history of Arabs in the region.

I don't know how accurate the article is, but I looked at the Israel Museum website and found this:


Mona Hatoum

Current Disturbance, 1996

Mona Hatoum, Palestinian, born Beirut 1952, lives in London
Current Disturbance, 1996
Installation: Wood, wire mesh, lightbulbs, computerized dimmer switch, amplifier, four speakers
280 x 550 x 504 cm
Gift of Wendy Silverman, Thomas Schulhof, and Michael Schulhof, in honor of their parents Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
B98.0017

Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum creates deeply personal and political works relating to the body, the artistic language of Minimalism, and the condition of exile. In Current Disturbance, she used varying electrical current in lightbulbs to generate effects of sight and sound. The bulbs fade on and off randomly and at various levels of intensity. Sometimes the current makes a crackling sound, and at other times a humming. It is like a malfunctioning nerve center in which some of the synapses fail to connect.

In formal terms, the rather pure geometric grid is minimalist; in associative terms, it recalls a prison cell, a camp, territory that is out of bounds. There is no entrance or exit, so viewers can only walk around this closed-off no-man’s-land, an empty inner space that nevertheless implies a human presence or absence. The flickering lights, like hundreds of tiny lighthouses, transmit a message of warning but perhaps also of hope of rescue.
The installation has traveled to museums throughout the world but it is apparently owned by the Israel Museum.

I'm not saying that this isn't art - it looks like a powerful piece, even if it is overtly political and anti-Israel. I would question whether it belongs in this museum at all.

The point is that even the Israel Museum is hosting anti-Israel Palestinian Arab art, so the charge that it erases the PalArab viewpoint is clearly baseless.

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