The photography exhibition "The Feast" offers a unique, different view by the members of the joint program "Through Other Eyes" 2021, presenting the point of view of Arab and Jewish youth within the Corona year.
The exhibition refers to Leonardo da Vinci's work, The Last Supper.
The image, quoted in so many works of art, is treated differently this time.
We chose to take the meal and relate to the layout of the food, the seating, and the aesthetic experience that embodies a sensory experience.
We took the image to a festive gathering place, where traditional Arab food, Jewish food from different origins and junk food are placed side by side, merging into one big feast where cultures and flavors are combined, yet each culture maintains its identity.
It is the very encounter, the meal, which produces something new, common, challenging old assumptions and narratives that may no longer be relevant to this time; may not be relevant to these teens who like to eat mostly burgers and pizza.
The image presents an end to the narrative of cultural separation and the construction of a new narrative of a common meal where there is room for religious and cultural diversity, as well as for food that does not belong to either culture.
Through the shared meal, the exhibitors offer the viewer a "serving suggestion" for connecting cultures through art, food and music.
The "feast" is not the "last supper" in the sense of the original work that implies an ending, betrayal and death, but is the first meal in the shared life that the group proposes.
This year, the year of Covid-19, the physical encounters became virtual and so we found ourselves learning about each other mostly via Zoom. Many descriptions of the food and the smells of home came up during those joint explorations of each other through the screen. Between the lockdowns and quarantines, the home started to take up a bigger place in the lives of the boys and girls, and we got to know and see, through the screen, different homes, different cultures and food.
The only thing we did not get to experience through the screen is the tastes and smells.
We knew that when we finally met, in physical reality, we would want to activate our senses, taste and smell, take off the masks and eat.
During the filming, without prior preparation, the group started drumming and singing together, the music seemed to stem from the mage and with it also the understanding that the connection has taken place.
The external and internal events that happened this year raised many questions about the intercultural connection and encounter
Holding a reunion after the end of the war required daring, openness and honesty - to get out of the comfort zone, agree to break prejudices, go through fears and agree to remember over and over again the connection points, the relationship that has been formed, and not let the outside world penetrate our group.
The teens understood that they had to find a way to deal with difficulty and disagreement, to agree to look together and discuss the problems and dilemmas that exist in the shared Israeli society.
The exhibition consists of the large image of the feast and the dismantling of the meal into individual images in which each of the teens appears with the food s/he brought to the table. It also features portraits of the boys and girls, in a studio against a black background detached from the context, with each teen's personal statement about the process they went through this year, and images of eyes in a face covered with a mask that corresponds with the hijab and erases any sign of identification so that only the eyes remain (one Jewish eye and one Arab eye).
Through the images, we tried to ask questions about difference, similarity, equality and identity. Another and final image displayed in the exhibition is a video of the group members blowing groundsel flowers in the wind, as a kind of wish to spread the connection, dialogue and the possibility of living together to a wider circle. Jinan Halabi, Dana Friedlander Table styling: Mor Ezuz-Dror