A word used to describe a situation that lacks certainty or finality, a status still open for examination or processing. Unresolved issues, residing deep in the psyche, haunt and obscure cognition, impacting judgment and undermining attempts to cultivate relationships. For artists and makers, however, an unresolved issue—a skill that needs mastering or an idea that needs refining—can be the driving force in the process of creation, catalyzing critical decisions that test an artist’s technical and conceptual acuity.
considers an artist’s evolving relationship with a specific material—glass—in parallel to its history in a region whose contemporary identity remains unresolved. Researching ancient and contemporary practice in the material of glass in and around Israel is a complex endeavor. Due to the wealth of sand and soda found along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean coastline, some of the earliest sites of glass-centered production were sited here, spawning multiple, diverging timelines and varying influences. From the early experiments documented by Pliny, Josephus, and Tacitus dating back more than 2,000 years, to dynastic practice by a Palestinian family in Hebron that continues to this day, the glass industry in this small but focal part of the Middle East has waxed and waned along with the civilizations that rose and fell upon its sands. How does this complicated history impact a new, globally oriented generation of glass artists whose work is physically built upon the archaeological, political, and cultural strata that lies beneath it?
About the Artists
An artist who creates in direct response to the natural world, Admoni makes work as both a jeweler and sculptor, and credits the landscape south of Israel—where she previously had a studio—as a source of inspiration for her practice. Admoni currently lives and works in Selma, Oregon.
Originally trained in glass and ceramics, Alexandra Ben-Abba employs performance, video and interactive installation as means to engage with process. The relationships explored in her time-based practice touch upon the uncertainty, aggression and helplessness often felt during times of conflict. Her work and performances have been presented by venues including A.I. R. Gallery, Dorsky Curatorial Program, and the RISD Museum. Ben-Abba received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Ben-Abba lives and works in New York City.
A graduate of Yale University, Aharoni’s artwork and art installations have been exhibited in New York, Europe and India. The artist’s work can be found in the permanent collection of The Pompidou Center in Paris and was featured in the 2017 Jerusalem Biennale. His solo exhibition,
The Road to Sanchi
, is on view at The Rubin Museum from November 17, 2017 through October 15, 2018. Aharoni lives and works in New York City.
Roi Cermeli holds an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA and a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The artist’s work has been presented in exhibitions around the world at venues including the Project Room (Glasgow), Eretz Israel Museum, and the Royal Scottish Academy. Carmeli lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.
Working in both jewelry and sculpture, Nirit Dekel began her career as an artist upon leaving her previous career in technology. Her wearable pieces are sold in galleries and museums around the world. Nirit lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Dafna Kaffeman is a Senior Lecturer at the Glass and Ceramics Department at Bezalel Art Academy. She holds a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and an MFA from the Sandberg Instituut. She has had solo exhibitions at venues including the Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco and lorch+siedel, Berlin, and the American University Museum, DC. Kaffeman lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Li Chen and Gregori Zilber
Li Chen Berlinsky and Gregori Zilber both received their BFAs from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in the Department of Ceramics & Glass Design. Their work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Tel Aviv.