Ziva Jelin and Sofie Berzon MacKie
Opening: Saturday, March 12, 2022 12:00-14:00
Curator: Anat Lidror
On Saturday, March 12, 2002, a new exhibition of photography, painting and sculpture by two artists from one kibbutz in the south of Israel will open at the Givat Haviva Shared Art Gallery. Ziva Yellin was born and raised on Kibbutz Be'eri, where she still lives as a member. Sophie Berzon MacKie came to the kibbutz as a child from the great city of London, and has since held within her these two different worlds. Both Yellin and MacKie's lives are intertwined with the nature inside the kibbutz and that on the other side of the fence, in the western Negev bordering Gaza, which is sometimes a green field with an endless horizon and the scent of fresh harvest, and sometimes a scorched, black and sad terrain.
People used to call the kibbutz a "nature reserve," a concept proudly embraced by its members, as a place that preserves its values, balances spiritual and material life, connects nature and culture, and serves as a shining example and role model for society. Today, places like their kibbutz risk becoming nature reserves as a thing of the past.
Be'eri is one of the only kibbutzim that remain cooperative, where members work and support the common treasury together and receive equal living conditions. The decisive reason for this is the kibbutz's economic success that enables it to provide for the living, educational, security and cultural needs of all its members. The revolutionary collaborative idea based on the pursuit of social justice, a balanced combination of material life and spiritual life, and solidarity between community members, has become absurd in a reality where only rich kibbutzim can sustain it. However, this is no longer an internal kibbutz conversation. The capitalist world, the privatization of state institutions, the cost of living, the cost of real estate and the climate crisis are forcing all of us in Israel to look for new answers.
Each of the artists presents in her own way questions about nature and domestication, about their strange cooperative-capitalist way of life. Through kibbutz nature, they ask: Is all this still alive? Is it on life support? Is it artificial? What is still alive and kicking and what belongs to the past and has died?
Are they living the dream or are they locked in a gilded cage just before the kibbutz becomes a nature reserve similar to a zoo, where people come to see what no longer exists naturally but serves as an exhibit of a world long gone?
When they sell plastic plants at IKEA, kibbutzniks have synthetic grass in their yards and entire public buildings are covered with artificial vegetation, one may ask how much of the kibbutz nature, a hundred years after it was born, remains natural?
Read more about the exibition here
• To book group tours, interactive tutorials and workshops inspired by the exhibition – please contact Ilana Tel: 052-532-4512 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening: Saturday 12.3.22- 12:00 noon
Location: Givat Haviva Shared Art Gallery
Curator: Anat Lidror
Gallery talk: 9.4.22
Closing of the exhibition: 30.4.22