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Sinkholes

Curator: Hadas Kedar

Keren Benbenisty; Sari Carel; Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernandez Pascual & Alon Schwabe); Michal Gilboa David; Ronny Hardliz; Nir Harel; Dana Levy; Yair Perez; Gilad Ratman; Ada Rimon & Ofeq Shemer; Hadas Sstt; Shiri Shalmy; Santiago Sierra; Julia Wirsching & Gabriel Hensche.

Arad Contemporary Art Center

2017

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The exhibition 'Sinkholes' takes place at the Contemporary Art Center in Arad, about ninety years after the severe earthquake in the Dead Sea area. The 6.25 Richter scale earthquake occurred on July 11, 1927, and resulted in 500 casualties and about 700 wounded people in Palestine-Eretz Israel and Jordan. Residents in the upheaval area described the sea in their diaries as "a site of tremendous boiling and severe waves."

The horrifying quake, at the turn of the previous century, was a part of a chain of topographic changes that started 25 million years ago, when tectonic plates began to move away from each other. The movements led to the formation of the Syrian-African rift, which runs from southern Turkey to Tanzania, and passes through the Dead Sea – the lowest terrestrial place in the world.

The 'Sinkholes' exhibition explores a unique phenomenon in this place: the land surrounding the Dead Sea occasionally opens its mouth and swallows soil, sand, stones, objects, roads and even people.

The sinkhole is a long-known geological phenomenon, but it has appeared along the Dead Sea only a few decades ago. These concavities that suddenly emerge in the salty soil are the results of an ongoing dissolving process of an underground salty layer. Yet, this phenomenon doesn't necessarily occur due to natural circumstances. Sinkholes may also occur because of manmade activities, such as collapsed mining sites, pumping groundwater, construction works, eruptive water in broken pipes systems, etc. The phenomenon of sinkholes is considered as a real danger, due to the unexpectedness of these concavities and their size.

The exhibition deals with the curse of hubris, people's sin of vanity – the excessive human domineering of nature – and it relates to the primitive human fear of being suddenly sinking in subterranean depths. The exhibition invites the visitors to a journey into the depths of their bodies and souls, while dealing with their existential fears. The exhibited artworks create a kind of kaleidoscope of decay, trembling, swallowing, collapse and pumping, those phenomena that stimulate the power of imagination.

Continue Reading (English)

Critique in Ha'aretz Newspaper (Hebrew)

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