Feel at Home
Prologue: The exhibition 'Feel at Home' opened in September 2023 and dealt with an attempt to describe how we form a sense of home, who can feel at home today in Israel and to what extent. The exhibition was created as a response to the reality of Israeli society during a critical period that seemed to be the greatest crisis the country had experienced in recent decades.
The exhibition highlights the feelings of artists that represent entire groups in Israeli society, as well as works that express universal, human and personal feelings that make up our inner home experience, such as the longing for peace, harmony, tenderness and a safe place.
After the terrible October 7 attacks and the war that followed, the exhibition has become loaded with new layers, disturbing in an unimaginably prophetic way. At the same time, it also strengthens the feelings that make up a home within us. The works are interwoven with expressions and pieces that form part of a whole: personal notes, memories of home, a blanket, a private tool cabinet, landscapes and friends.
How can the same works be embracing and disturbing at the same time? The explanation lies perhaps in the tremendous sensitivity of the works and their makers, as well as in the theme that is so basic and essential to all of us, and affects every aspect of our lives. Home is the ground and the foundation from which we grow. Home has a physical aspect, but our sense of home is not found only in our physical home, it is a feeling that is fundamentally related to security, feeling safe. The works in the exhibition refine a sense of a home that has suddenly been lost in so many ways.
We have the obligation to rebuild that home. Here lies the opportunity to rebuild it differently, based on the understanding that we all deserve to be a part of it and we have the possibility of making it better, together.
Feel at Home
The group exhibition 'Feel at Home' examines the expression and the invitation to feel at home, one that acquires multiple meanings these days, both in Israel and outside Israel. Where exactly can we feel at home? In our own skin? In the physical space that is our home? In what we do? In our society? In our country? In the world as it is today?
What is the human essence and how far have we drifted?
Sometimes it seems that humanity is lost, because man is doing everything to bring it closer to its end… Others might say that we are at the beginning of a new era, the era of the third millennium in which many social and political structures must be dismantled in order for new ones to be constructed. Still others will say that a critical battle is now raging in Israel, a battle for the future of the country as a democracy. They will also say that no one is really listening to the other.
There are many threads that continue to connect and grow all the time between Jewish society and Arab society, but each of the two now feels that the other is not joining its struggle even though the different struggles are actually one, and we are all in it together. Both sides are beginning to realize that.
Which group among the many divided and differentiated groups (very clearly exposed to the sun recently), do you ask? After all, it is a moment when the convinced are convinced, those who are not heard are even more muted, and despair does not get any easier, depending especially on who is asked.
We asked a group of artists. Their connection was formed under one roof, that of the Shared Art Center at Givat Haviva. Here they create, work, support each other, guide, teach, lead and operate throughout the year. The works in the exhibition refer to the invitation, natural and simple on the one hand and deeply alienating on the other, to feel at home: in the private, social, national, political and human home.
Some of the works bring up an earlier point in time, from a year ago, two years ago, even eight years back, with the original interpretation in which they were created as well as the current one; some are new and some were created especially for this exhibition. They all present their references on the axis between personal and human, individual and communal and between national and philosophical.
Art acts like ripples created by a stone thrown into water.
This is an invitation to be thrown into the water, in a new way, because we need new ways. As individuals, as families, as societies, we long to create a comfort zone, to feel at home.
Maybe sometimes what feels like home becomes problematic if one doesn't change and develop.
Wanderers in the exhibition are given the opportunity to search for individual or collective feelings, or simply look with their own personal eyes at the picture of reality that is spread before them; one can feel the separation or look for new ways to feel at home here.
Epilogue: At this time, many of us and society as a whole discover art to be a powerful, multidimensional, broad, flexible and creative force, which knows how to contain pain, which finds words and expressions, connects the parts within us and provides a path to emotions, to a renewed flow of movement and life force.
Avner Singer and Anat Lidror, curators
Michal Alon, Dudi Bickel, Michal Geva, Leonid Gosin, Avner Singer, Nitzan Yulzari, Ahuva Livneh, Michal Niv, Emuna Syrkin, Ethel Pisareff, Hadas Provizor, Ruth Kaplan, Moshe Roas, Rachel Rozner, Jana Shimonov, Lian Sharkia