Attributes of a Hero | Yeshaiahu Rabinowitz


Attributes of a Hero | Yeshaiahu Rabinowitz

Attributes of a Hero | Yeshaiahu Rabinowitz

Curators: Sala-manca group

PDF of the exhibition printed catalogue

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“Shrunk to this, spoils, triumphs, glories, O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests little measure? Fare thee well.”

(Antonius, standing for the first time before the body of Julius Caesar. From Julius Caesar, William

Shakespeare, Act III)

“I search for forms, invent a tactile history. Not having been raised on any formal-sculptural tradition, my interest is in the story of the play, in the piece of Shakespearean theater. I have been invited, without the hosts’ knowledge, to document and preserve some of the characters who make up the theater of William Shakespeare.” Yeshayahu Rabinowitz sculpts characters’ memories through their body parts and accessories. He does this through an interpretive process, like an archeologist preserving the gestures, motions and life story of a fictional character, who is, in turn, based on an historical figure. The sculptor recounts the story of the play through the material trappings of its protagonists – clothing, accessories, and objects that preserve some of the movements of their lives. He sews the King’s formerly magnificent robe, now a mess of rags cloaking a fool who is neither man nor woman. Julius Caesar is adorned with body armor, a dented chest guard, a battle- and time-worn uniform. Rabinowitz explores the archeology of the theatrical space. Looking for evidence, material testimonies, tactile impressions. He creates the findings that tell the story that happened after the characters have left the stage. The findings tell about the moments of the Fall. Rabinowitz captures the character mid-Fall, at the moment at which the character loses his stability and hold on the ground: “The body grudgingly relinquishes its measured, aesthetic movement and transforms into a vulnerable, powerless form,” he says. And here, paradoxically, in the fragility and vulnerability of the sculpture, lies the disturbing power of the single, distinct object. In the memory of the movement lingers the memory of the drama, the personal life story that is woven into the story of a collective war. The story of the character and that of the sculpture are created through sewing, sculpting, gluing, and painting. The story of Rabinowitz the sculptor meshes into the story of the character. He converses with it, entering the character itself and its narrative and sculptural tradition, describing, interpreting, and inventing them. The site-specific context of Rabinowitz’s exhibition is the Mamuta Art & Media Center, inhabiting the cellars of the former leper’s hospital. These spaces are part of the artistic text, and as such they render the installation a one-off interpretation of Rabinowitz’s work. The body and its accessories are key concepts in the history of the leper’s hospital. The imperfect body, the accessories of those “deviant” protagonists, which challenge our perception of the heroic protagonist, also characterize Rabinowitz’s work. The accessories displayed in the exhibition undermine society’s very concept of the hero. The former leper’s hospital – a place that inhabits the Other, the excluded, the vulnerable, the leper, the artist, the hero – is the space that hosts Rabinowitz’s works and his studio. The space shapes the reading and the interpretation of its works.

Yeshaiahu Rabinowitz, born 1975 in Jerusalem. He is an art teacher and a housefather. Graduated the fine art department of Shenkar and studied professional sewing. Costume and object designer for dance. Guest artist in Mamuta in the past two years.


22.1.16 |11:00-12:30 All heroes need sketchbook
Bookbinding workshop with Yeshaiahu Rabinowitz
free entrence
bring your own cutting knife
22.1.16 | 13:00-14:00 Artist talk about the exhibition ATTRIBUTES OF A HERO with the artist and the curators

Opening: 30.12.15 | 19:00

Dance performance: Viewers, Continuation | Shelly Palmon |  30.12.15 | 20:00

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00-14:00 , Closing: 12.2.16

Mamuta at Hansen, Gdaliahu Alon 14, Jerusalem. ground floor