BRAVERMAN Gallery in New York with ‘ISHMAEL’
Nira Pereg’s Video Installation, ISHMAEL, Debuts in the U.S.
at Braverman Gallery
Hosted in Collaboration with On Stellar Rays Gallery
May 6-June 8, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 5, 2016, 6:00-8:00pm
Nira Pereg in Conversation With Daniel S. Palmer, the Leon Levy Assistant Curator at the Jewish Museum in New York: Sunday, May 8, 4:00pm
Acclaimed Israeli artist Nira Pereg’s new video installation, ISHMAEL, is on view in the United States for the first time at Braverman Gallery’s temporary New York City space, from May 5-June 8, 2016. This is Braverman Gallery’s inaugural exhibition in New York, hosted in collaboration with Lower East Side gallery On Stellar Rays.
Following its premiere at Art Basel Features, ISHMAEL continues Pereg’s ongoing investigation of everyday rituals at the Cave of the Patriarchs, also known as Ibrahimi Mosque الحرم الإبراهيمي. Under close military supervision, Pereg spent one whole day following the adhān – the five Muezzin calls to prayer from 4:00am to 9:00pm – documenting the exceptional circumstances in which the ritual is conducted.
The Cave of the Patriarchs is located in Hebron, in the heart of the West Bank, and serves as a sacred place for both Jews and Muslims. Since the 1994 mass murder of Palestinians perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler from Kiryat Arba, the cave has been physically divided between Muslims and Jews. 80% percent of the cave is a mosque and 20% functions as a synagogue. ISHMAEL follows a day’s journey of a Muezzin, escorted by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, as he makes his way from the mosque through the synagogue and back.
The work emphasizes the performative qualities of the routine activities on site that touch upon the link between ceremony and territory, bringing forth a reality that is far from the general public’s awareness.
Using a complex spatial arrangement, Pereg unites the gallery space and the holy site, challenging the viewer’s perception of the events. As in her previous works, Pereg highlights the various ways in which systems pertaining to religious belief, social norms and politics, intertwine.
Anchoring her work in documentary practice, Pereg captures what she refers to as “spiritual bureaucracy.” Her works reveal the form through which religion marks concrete territories in order to sustain itself, raising questions about the metaphysical and physical ties created in these types of ritualistic unions.
Pereg’s multichannel video installations challenge the status quo of any territory she immerses herself in such as vertical burial sites (KEPT ALIVE, 2010), documentation of roadblocks in Jewish Orthodox neighborhoods during the Sabbath (SABBATH, 2008), or the upkeep of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (THE RIGHT TO CLEAN, 2015). Pereg’s works have been exhibited at Centre Pompidou Paris, MoMA PS1 New York, Hirshhorn Museum DC, HDK Berlin, KW Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, The Israeli Museum in Jerusalem, House Der Kunst Munchen, Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Kusntahlle Dusseldorf, The Tel-Aviv Museum of Art and at various festival and galleries. Pereg is also the recipient of the Israeli Art Prize for young artist and Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation.
* Additional works on view by Oren Eliav and Katherina Gaenssler
Braverman Gallery @ On Stellar Rays
1 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002