Zion’s fiction


November 2003


Nelly Aman Gallery, Tel Aviv
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about the exhibition

Eliahou Eric Bokobza softly assails the remaining fragments of the Zionist dream with his naive yet authentic-oriental use of the technique of defamiliarization of language and of  familiar and nostalgic motifs. Through abundant use of color, Bokobza also attacks the medium of painting itself for its bourgeois nature. He consciously exceeds the bounds of a  picturesque exhibit in an attempt that from the outset is doomed to spectacular failure, that  encompasses the artist’s own admission of failure. Hybrid figures that are neither paintings  nor sculptures are suspended from the installation, and even the paintings on the wall were drawn on  an anti-picturesque base. A policeman/pilot/soldier is positioned in the center in the form of a toy robot holding a monkey wrench in its hands (something heartrending). He reigns over the others: the refugees behind him, rows of eyes by themselves, standing in mute witness waiting for the day when  they will be allowed to scream out and tell their story. He holds sway over the scenes of building, settlement, laborers, pioneers, all drawn on metallic paper and framed in gold or silver metallic frames, cold and alienated.The Israeli pioneering experience is expressed in the form of exotic and unreal space stations. The diptych “Banishment” extends across the intellectual and narrative center of the exhibition: an angel with a sword in his hand, changing into the naked figure of Herzl from Lilian’s drawings,  like a Semitic Apollo expelling the mustachioed Adam and Eve, dressed like astronauts in  spacesuits that are “oriental” (Mizrahi) capes.

This is the most colorful and beautiful pictorial rendition of the post-Zionist dream ever to be created, and it comes from a love for Zion and for painting.

Ouzi Tzur

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