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Curator's Introduction

Bare Life is the third in a series of exhibitions on themes of human rights that we are presenting at the Museum. This exhibition aims to touch upon the increasingly unraveling seam between deviant states and normative states, and to point resolutely at the place where the temporary emergency situation turns into a legitimized ongoing situation that in the end leads to a paranoia of suspicion and to the use of violence to re-establish public order.

The works on show in this exhibition were selected with an intention to present and depict the atmosphere that encourages nations and organizations to activate invasive methods which infringe the boundaries of our identity, our privacy, and the freedom we are entitled to as citizens of a world that not so long ago experienced the horrors of the Holocaust, was witness to atrocities and to contempt of human values, and was enlightened enough to proclaim its aspiration for reforms and new directions in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was formulated after the end of that terrible war.

This aspiration is confronted in the exhibition by means of works by 42 artists from all over the world, some of whom are showing thiswork in Israel for the first time. In their works, these artists bring testimonies that attempt to clarify the nature of relations in times of trouble and in periods of uncertainty which the regime or the sovereign define by as a times for restoring order, which accords the authorities the power to use all the means at their disposal.

Raphie Etgar, Curator