A reflection of reality

Video art

A reflection of reality

While most people are fans of mainstream cinema, they are blithely unaware of the other forms of visual art. The Israeli Consulate recently hosted a video art screening and a lecture by Samantha Adler de Oliveira, a Franco-Israeli visual artist based in Tel-Aviv, at the Alliance Francaise.

After a warm welcome by Consul General, Menahem Kanafi, a series of videos were screened throughout the evening. They told the story of the people of Israel and the country itself. Samantha went on to talk about how mainstream cinema differs from video art because it has no narrative plot, actors, a big budget or sets.

She also said that video art tries to be self-reflective and in Israel especially, there are a large number of video artists who are influenced by the political upheavals. This was followed by the screening of five videos.

The first one was called 'For the Record' by Ruti Sela, a painter who enters a municipal artists colony and convinces the authorities to let her paint their portraits while she tapes the entire thing. While at first it seems like she is a helpless artist who has no power when compared to her models, viewers see a power reversal. Power reversal is a common theme that pops up.

‘Marganith’ by Tzion Abraham Hazan was the second video to be screened. This was a popular one amongst the audience. The well-made video was about a white tower called ‘Marganith’, which is located in the ‘Qirya’ military base. Well-known artist, Guy Ben-ner's video ‘Drop the Monkey’ was a self-reflective reel.

While he usually works without funding, he received funding for this video and spent it travelling from Tev-Aviv to Berlin, and had a conversation between himself and his alter-ego. The ‘Vanishing Monument’ was a journey of various Finnish monuments that are disappearing quietly, including language and song.

Samantha also showcased her own video, titled ‘Jerusalem Trilogy’, a tribute to her time in the city. She said she likes to work with spaces that she is familiar with, like her room, an abandoned hotel she passes daily and others that people tend to neglect.

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