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We are unfortunately obligated, as we write this text, to mourn the death of Amos Oz, one of the leading pillars of our country’s cultural life. He enriched our existence with the dozens of books he wrote which represented the beautiful Israeli terrain and the wonderful civilization to which we belong. As he passes on he leaves behind a large gap in local artistic activity. He was a giant among us.

Usually new years’ celebrations symbolize hopes for better beginnings with the advent of the new generation. The foreseeable future is marked by the prospect of the upcoming elections. The early elections had been anticipated, and yet the campaign activity shifts much of the duly imposed emphasis from creative efforts to party politics with the respective grievances and conflicts. The arts are shoved aside and receive far less attention than deserved. Despite the ever mounting sorrow one cannot postpone political elections while all art-related committees remain optimistic as to the outcome thereof. They and we all share the same concern for a healthier attitude and greater support for the arts.

In this issue a Herzliya Museum exhibition stands out: Haimi Fenichel displays successful award-winning works featuring an original treatment of materials. He maintains his reputation in the art world by proposing a fresh approach and touching hearts with this imaginative style. Micha Ullman deals with his living space as an earthen soil setting which acts as the basis for his whole installation. His assistants helped him to delineate the structure constituting his own residence as well as that off his neighbours. Certain objects that serve them in daily life have been mentioned as features that characterize the minor differences between the respective families. Viewers may walk around the creation itself and sense how drastically everything changes.

Nurit Yarden, Oded Balilti and Eldad Raphael are also exhibiting their works at the Herzliya Museum, but of course in separate capacities. All three of them are experienced photographers who focus their lenses on the preparation of stills that capture reality and present clear agenda frameworks so as to document encounters and occurrences that interest them especially in routine settings.

Hiroshi Sugimoto has opened a fascinating exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. There are photographs and associative compositions accentuating a different, very attractive angle. His own personal interpretation of a well-known reality describes the world from a less famous perspective but at an angle commonplace enough to attract our attention and able to engage our empathy, proving him to be a very capable and special artist.

Michal Helfman exposes a poignant personal statement at the Sommer Gallery. A group shown entitled “Cargo through Time” at the Artists’ House in Jerusalem caught our attention by embedding a solemn promise to provide high quality contents with original personal sources of inspiration.

Dita Liron at the Hasadna LeAmanut in Yavne concentrates on the “Footnote” theme which has been a central issue for her over time allowing her to inspect the probabilities of two different streams of content in a single space containing vision, perception and comprehension.

This upcoming year signifies an era never yet reported with the integration of artists who moved to Israel from Ethiopia: Michal Mamit Vorka was awarded the Meiron Sima Visual Arts Prize, and Nirit Takele has a solo art show at the Hezi Cohen Gallery. We hope to enjoy more such blessed events in the near future, as this trend is indeed very important.

The Can Editorial Board and all its members wish all our readers a very happy healthy relaxed and culturally interesting new year.

Hana Barak Engel
 
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