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Curator's Introduction

Exhibition HeartQuake seeks to shudder and shake, identity and otherness vis a vis anxiety; to highlight and stress the process of man’s emotional contention with his environment, and also to peer through the prism of dread to examine his reactions, whether as aggressor or victim – all this with the purpose of attempting to comprehend and influence the dynamic of social and political relationships.

The outlook expressed by this exhibition holds that anxiety is a pivotal factor in the interrelationship between humanity and its world. In examining that connection, anxiety becomes a complex symbol; it does not end with man’s sense of helplessness in the face of the realities of his existence; on the contrary, it holds a decisive potency both as warning signal and as existential utterance, whereby we can contemplate the meanings our life takes on.

The exhibition seeks to proffer for consideration the tension between these two concepts by means of a range of creative works that examine anxieties – national, ethnic and global - and a dialogue with the anxiety of the Uncanny, as defined by Freud (Das Unheimliche). These anxieties undermine and challenge the personal and collective connections within which humanity functions.

The exhibition seeks to offer discussion of the political influences harboured in the collective memory, and national oblivion, with regard to historical events. Even so, the works on display cannot be expected to draw a clear, documentary distinction regarding these events. The images are milestones which the observer is required to interpret, unravel, compare and ultimately draw his own conclusions. They will direct his thoughts and serve as a source of inspiration for other events, those occurring in the here-and-now, in an effort to confront the reactions, both somatic and cognitive, evoked by anxiety, including outcry, paralysis, aggression, withdrawal, criticism, protest and nihilism. These reactions, whether collective or individual, reflect resistance no less than helplessness.

The thinkers and the artists participating in the exhibition are creating and writing at geographical points widely distant from one another, and from this distance they can enable us to direct our regard towards opposing and merging horizons, while simultaneously focusing our gaze at the local skyline. They help us to seek an interpretation that will sustain a more profound discussion, setting at its hub our reflections, our anxieties and the extent of their influence upon our manner of operation.

With the opening of the exhibition, a question is raised that cannot yet be answered but only with the test of time and reality. Will the works be able to make their contribution, to reflect, express and respond to the trauma undergone by man and experienced by humanity? Would we be able to bring the visitors to discuss the space of the self and the space between one self and the other? - To convince and be convinced, to influence and to be influenced?

Exhibition HeartQuake follows on from the sequence of previous exhibitions in an effort to bring together art, theoretical concept and the public, and to form an additional ethical statement in the spirit of the Museum on the Seam, which calls for a display of political responsibility and adoption of a social stance.

Raphie Etgar, Curator