Cirque Levantino


November 2021


Hanina Gallery, Tel Aviv
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about the exhibition

Eliahou Eric Bokobza was born in Paris, in one of the districts which, in the 19th century, was decisive for the creation of modern art. It is the fundamental triangle formed by the street of his childhood, the bourgeois Boulevard Rochechouart, located at the foot of the Butte Montmartre – the district of artists and bohemian cabarets – leading to Pigalle: the zone of dubious pleasures with red lights. At this crossroads, where Parisian society has mingled with the marginalized through different degrees of spiritual and physical undressing, the modern turning point in eternal Western painting was born, as everyone knows, through the works of Manet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, and others. In many of their drawings, these revolutionary artists revealed, without compromise and hypocrisy, the true face of modern society, the material and symbolic abuse of women and men, who dared or were condemned to live as artists, comedians, immigrants, and other people on the fringes.

The circus is therefore a super-metaphor for the immense innate contradiction in the behavior of society towards artists and culture: themselves necessary to give emotion and a taste for living against monotony and routine but, their existence and their place in society will always be marginal, threatened and questioned. It seems that this distinction has become even more acute these days when society itself feels threatened and art in all its forms has come almost to a standstill.

Curator: Yakir Segev