Nevet Yitzhak’s accidental encounter with Afghan war rugs could not but capture her attention and set fire to her creative imagination, for they are infused with the same
subject matters that motivated her artistic practice from its nascence.
The Afghan war rugs, a fascinating and unique phenomenon, are a combination of traditional rug weaving technique with a history paved with conflicts and foreign military
presence. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late-1970s and a decade of occupation, civil wars and American military intervention have yielded a plethora of war rugs.
The war rugs, the anti-war rugs and victory rugs, both spectacular and horrifying, have become sought after collector’s items in the West, the subject of research and numerous
exhibitions. What started as an authentic expression of the changing reality and landscape, a means for transmitting to the world the horrors of war and occupation, migration
and uprooting, an expression of resistance and a means of survival, had been commodified and turned into touristic memorabilia industry. Rugs of this type served as the point
of departure and basis for Nevet Yitzhak’s video installation exhibited here.
In this work, the stylized images of Soviet firearms were replaced by three-dimensional models of weapons commonly used by other armies and war zones, and their animation,
created by various software, re-instills in them the violent, destructive potential. The labor-intensive craftsmanship of weaving the rugs has been transformed into a no less
laborious digital work, and the materiality of the rugs was replaced with a projection of light. At times it seems that spreading the digital rugs by projecting them along the walls
of the gallery brings them back into the domestic intimate space for which they were designed. The illusion is interrupted when the three-dimensional models (taken from
computer games and combat simulations) which the artist integrated into the rugs, erupt and realize the qualities of the programs that rendered them when they embark on a
carpet war accompanied by sounds of explosions and gunshots, also taken from computer games, wreaking havoc on the non-material material of the rug (the Second World
War term “carpet bombing” comes to mind here).
Like other artists before her, Nevet Yitzhak makes use of the seductive nature of animation, as well as the aesthetics of computer games in order to express weighty subject
matters in her works. The manner in which the images of war were assimilated in the tapestry of the rugs and their animation, erasing the original images as a result, are akin to
processes of assimilation and integration of culture that entail violence and oppression on the one hand and a struggle to preserve cultural difference and singularity on the
other hand. The interest in the construction of cultural identity and gender stereotypes in a postcolonial and post-feminist society, originate in the examination and criticism of
the Israeli state of affairs.
Curator: Heather Hakimzadeh
Tue – Thu
By appointment only
11:00 – 16:00
11:00 – 14:00