web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Sections » Arts »

You Can’t Go Home: Digital Art By Shulamit Tibor

Through the Curtain: Digital Art by Shulamit Tibor
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
One West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012; (212) 824-2205
Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Selected Sundays
Free Admission: Until June 25, 2004


 

We all attempt to reap sustenance from the past. Our collective heritage acts as a foundation of cultural values necessary for us to build into the future. But what happens if we are cut off from that past? “Past the Shoah there is a black hole,” comments Shulamit Tibor, an Israeli artist whose new digital prints confront the memory of the Yiddish Theater in an attempt to
pierce the silence and reclaim that which is rightfully hers.

Tibor’s unusual images are constructed from scanned photographs of productions at the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw (1920′s), the Moscow Yiddish State Theater (1920′s), the Vilna Troupe (1920′s), and the Yiddishpiel Theater of Tel Aviv (1990′s). With this diverse source material, she has constructed a series of eighteen large and dramatic Lamda Prints in which the
images are edited, cut, pasted, manipulated and reconstructed to simultaneously represent a largely vanished Jewish theatrical world and our inaccessibility to it. She has worked on this project for the last two years, and the current exhibition at the Hebrew Union College Gallery, curated by Laura Kruger, represents a selection of the 45 artworks created.

After 25 years of painting a wide variety of subjects and styles, Tibor turned to the computer as a new means of expression, creating images that manipulated light and photographs in the creation of interior and exterior environments immediately recognizable and yet totally fabricated. Using the raw material of the Yiddish Theater, some of which is on display to provide a startling comparison, Tibor has again fabricated a totally remarkable world.

This constructed visual world represents for her the collective memory of the Yiddish Theater that was almost totally erased after the war. She remembers vividly her parents’ tales of the Yiddish Theater in Europe that slowly faded in an Israel that turned its back on the Eastern European past, a past that felt shameful and filled with tragedy. The Yiddish Theater in Israel in the late 1940′s and 1950′s was performed only in Hebrew, and Eastern European culture was generally shunned in the Israeli secular public schools where she was educated. She feels that her current work is “closing the circle” of memories lost to the next generation of youth and Sephardim.

Distance and longing are central to her vision in the image of The Dybbuk. A spectral female figure commands the center stage surrounded by a crowd that fills the middle ground. She is frozen in mid-step, a luminous outsider passing through the glum reality behind her. The figure is created digitally by cutting and transposing one figure over an existing image. The entire mysterious scene is further removed from the viewer by the transparent curtain that distorts our vision. S. Anksy’s great masterpiece of Yiddish Theater thus haunts us, invading our consciousness and disturbing our dreams as a dybbuk in search of a resting place.

Mirele Efros is also glimpsed behind a curtained image. Here also Tibor has rearranged the figures and, through the means of the partially transparent scrim, has manipulated the characters to her own ends. The relationship between the mother and her daughter-in-law (played by Ida Kaminska and her daughter Ruth Turgow) is strangely shifted as the daughter-in-law is emphasized by her centrality and light, even as the scrim obscures her face. This is echoed by the fact that each of the characters is partially obscured and immersed in their own thoughts. The psychological drama is thus vividly evoked as playing out on the other side of a visual barrier imposed by the artist. The viewer feels as trapped on this side of the scrim as the frozen characters on the other side.

Tibor breaks through this barrier in three singular images from Chomesh Songs. The material she uses is from the contemporary Yiddishpiel Theater in Tel Aviv in 1990. Each is a radically different image showcasing the artist’s skills. In one (40 x 20) a girl in a colorful costume is distantly glimpsed through a crack in a digital door. She and a black and white companion peer out at us as if we were on stage, expected to perform. The next image shatters a scene of four players with a vertical slicer as if the theatrical reality had been shredded to conceal its identity. Even though all the parts are properly arranged, the viewer must constantly reconstruct the image much in the same way that Yiddish Theater performed today feels like an oddly reconstructed vision of the past.

The past looms even more emphatically in the third image (40 x 30) of Chomesh Songs. Two costumed figures face us bravely in the midst of speaking or singing directly to the audience. In the context of the other exhibition prints, they are alarmingly direct, perhaps because looming behind them Tibor has placed their negative images, devoid of color and twice their size. This negative presence completely alters our understanding of the stage performance by suggesting that in the Yiddish Theater, each actor and each character casts a kind of negative shadow of performances and performers long gone. It is almost as if no matter how contemporary a performance may seem, the past with its glorious memories haunts the present day stage,
confusing and complicating what we witness.

Shimale’s Dream brings us to the very edge of pathos by placing the lead character, seen in what must be heartfelt song, between two stately columns. This formal frame, coolly lit in the foreground with a bluish light, isolates, flattens and emotionally crushes the performance we glimpse. The artist has made us painfully aware of two distinct worlds that may never coincide.
Today’s theater, represented by the realistically lit columns, is seen as pristine and empty. Seen behind the contemporary reality is an emotional performance that we know would move us to tears, if we could only reach it.

Shulamit Tibor’s remarkable prints explore the complexities of the contemporary audience’s relationship with the Yiddish Theater. Fueled by childhood memories of that which was already out of reach, Tibor’s longing to connect with the Yiddish Theater is the engine of her creativity. For us, the curtain may never be fully opened. Indeed, no matter how much we may try, it seems you can’t go home anymore.


Richard McBee is a painter of Torah subject matter and writer on Jewish Art. Please feel free to contact him with comments at www.richardmcbee.com.

About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “You Can’t Go Home: Digital Art By Shulamit Tibor”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Bombs and wiring placed next to baby's cradle in Gaza.
As Hamas Threatens Families and Journalists, Who Blew Out the Lights in Gaza?
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Richard McBee
Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

McBee-062014-Outside

He refuses to flinch from our painful history, perhaps finding a kind of solace in the consistency of irrational enmity directed against us.

“Vidduy: The Musical” breaks through the formidable barrier of repetitive confession to allow us to begin to understand what is at the heart of this fundamental religious act.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Silverstein’s work has long concerned itself with the intersection between the personal and Jewish Biblical narrative, significantly explored in this column in “Brighton Beach Bible” (July 27, 2009).

Not surprisingly the guardians of synagogue tradition is male dominated in both Moses Abraham, Cantor and Mohel and Synagogue Lamp Lighters.

Neither helpless victims nor able to escape the killer’s clutches, the leaders had to make impossible choices on a daily basis in a never-ending dance with the devil.

Bradford has opted to fully exploit the diverse possibilities of the physical surface by concentrating on the three-dimensional application of paint (impasto) and other material.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/you-cant-go-home-digital-art-by-shulamit-tibor/2004/04/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: