Sessions include: “Expanding the Methodological Toolbox: Modern and Contemporary Contexts”, “The “Artless Jew” Discourse” and more.
Get more information and view the full program at http://jart.biu.ac.il/en/JARTCONF#Program
With fundamental shifts in culture, art history, and Jewish studies during the recent decades, it has become increasingly crucial for the custodians of higher education to carefully re-examine their approach to the history and interpretation of what is referred to as ‘Jewish’ art in both traditionalist scholarship and in the practice of art making, curatorship, and connoisseurship. Responding to developments in the humanities, communication studies, social studies and psychology, contemporary art history commonly embraces investigations of any image or object created for the sake of communicating meanings or emotions, and thus often replaces the term ‘art’ with a semantically broader term ‘visual culture.’ Contemporary scholarly research and the academic teaching of ‘Jewish’ art—like postmodern Jewish history and historiography —are increasingly distancing themselves from the search for any single exhaustive definition of the adjective ‘Jewish’ as applied to art, culture, and history. Instead, they tend to focus upon the variety and flexibility of both individual and collective Jewish self-identification throughout the ages. Scholarly discourse steadily moves away from the oft-repeated questions “Does Jewish art exist?” and “What is Jewish art?” to the inquiry “What is Jewish in ‘Jewish’ art?”—attempting to investigate Jewish visual cultures and their messages in their multiple contexts and interactions with the surroundings. This notwithstanding, even though the signifier ‘Jewish’ in the phrase ‘Jewish art’ is conventional and only loosely describes its object, it still relates to its signified in a fashion no less significant than the strict meaning of ‘middle’ does to ‘ages’ in the historical sciences, or the definition ‘charm’ does to quarks in particle physics. Thus the term ‘Jewish art’ can be instrumental in our discussion of visual culture, artistic expression, and appreciation of the plastic arts.
Register for the conference by emailing [email protected]
Indian-American Jewish Painter Siona Benjamin just posted a time lapse of the tile floor she designed being installed at the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri. Benjamin had worked for a year on a painting that would be transferred to ceramic tile and installed. The fifteen foot in diameter artwork takes us through the holidays in an imaginative way, including hidden faces, moons and other symbols. The inner circles are based on a teaching from the Talmud that connect the zodiac signs, Hebrew months and tribes. The innermost section evokes both Dina, the daughter of Jacob and Leah who did not get a tribe, and the Shechinah itself.
View the full painting below:
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The Hebrew Circle Calendar offers a new old path for the Jewish year–new in its contemporary design.
When we remember that every month is a full cycle of the moon, every year is a full cycle of the sun, and the holidays and seasons are fully intertwined, the symmetries and correspondences in our lives dance into vision. We return to the same place on the calendar, the same place in the Torah, and we remember–but we are changed. The miraculous spiral that we have been handed intact from our ancestors now invites us, with the vision of its 13 contributing artists, to walk with it in time, and reconnect to the spiral journey of the soul.
Jewish Art Now founders Elke and Saul Sudin presented “Jewish Art Now: Unifying Efforts For A Global Community” at the Conney Conference on Jewish Art 2015. In this presentation, they describe their journey in the contemporary arts scene, claiming what they call a Diverse Unapologetic Identity as their approach to being Jewish and Artists.
The Conney Conference is part of the Conney Project on Jewish Arts at the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their tenth conference year took place for the first time in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. The theme was “Jewish/American/Israeli: Intertwined Identities in the Contemporary Arts and Humanities.”