Ayana Friedman is an Israeli multi-media artist who deals with politics, the Holocaust and society’s treatment of the Other. This article concentrates on her feminist works and how Judaism and being the child of a Holocaust survivor affected her approach to this subject. Three main feminist interests are highlighted. First, the turn to “feminine” materials. Second, the struggle against the restrictions and abuse imposed on women and their specific Jewish examples. Friedman demands equality for women in Judaism, opposing customs that demean them and creating new ritual objects for them. Third, the conflicts women have between a career and motherhood, and the inter-generational problems they involve.
The article explores the subject of contemporary Jewish identity through the case of young immigrant women artists from the former Soviet Union in Israel, with particular emphasis on an analysis of the gendered aspects of their religious identity. Drawing on an interdisciplinary method, the research is based on in-depth interviews with artists, artwork analysis, and various theories from the social sciences and humanities. The article’s main argument is that an analysis of the artistic practices of this and similar understudied social groups, particularly those practices undertaken in moments of conflict or times of deep social change, produces a more subtle understanding of the shifting modes of Jewish identity in the age of globalization and transnationalism, whose phenomenon of mass migration has led to the construction of new multi-hyphenated, hybrid identities.
This article analyzes the strategies used by Israeli women to make illegal street art. The findings demonstrate that female street artists do not only trespass the taken‑for‑granted capitalist concept of who controls the public space, but also the normative boundaries of what activities are permitted or forbidden for women in this domain. In comparison to women artists that work in other societies, the transgressive actions of Israeli street artists involve both strategies historically defined as feminine, as well as critical strategies of the malestream order.
This paper deploys the haptic, and more broadly speaking, notions of multisensory reading and spectatorship to reconfigure perceptions of home. It explores configurations of home in the practice of the late French-Israeli visual artist, Absalon, to draw tropes of “complicity” and “contagion” into an intersection with discourses of moral hygiene arising from the modernist preoccupation with denuded surface in the history of architecture. It then goes on to read a postapartheid South African text, Lauren Beukes’s Zoo city (2010), through the lens of these concerns. Beukes’s text, it claims, can be made to precipitate the historicity of the white suburban home under apartheid. The novel offers alternative iterations of domesticity, however, as metonymies of contagion shift into metonymies of conviviality. The final section of the paper investigates the vulnerability of the home against the background of the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza and its assault on the built environment. It explores an art exhibition, Postcards for Gaza, staged by the dissident Israeli organization, Zochrot, in the context of a previous military assault on Gaza in 2008. Here the reworking of photographic surface is made to gesture towards the possibility of political reparation in an alternate modality of complicity that Mark Sanders parses as “human-foldedness” (Sanders 2002).