When Adar Enters, 2003
one channels video/sound installation, projection
Edition 2/5 + 2 A.P.
When Adar Enters opens with a prologue consisting of two short shots of boys and girls in the streets of Bnei Brak (a religious suburb of Tel Aviv) dressed in costumes for the Purim holiday celebrations that occur during the month of Adar. The third shot, which immediately follows the prologue and reappears at the end of the work, shows black-garbed men and women crossing the street at a zebra crossing. The passage from one side of the street to the other represents the reversal symbolized by the Purim holiday. The low angle of photography in this shot, with the road marking the horizon, allows a subversive, intrusive glance that accompanies the viewer throughout the work. Young and adult are shown in carnival attire - dressed as animals, characters from literature of history, soldiers, and policemen. Girls and young women preening in bridal gowns - Queen Esther on the eve of her wedding, celebrating the victory of her people. Each spring the Purim holiday celebrates the rescue of the Jews in the kingdom of Ahashveros in Persia from Haman's plot to exterminate them. It is considered a blessing to devote the Purim holiday to a feast with drinking, merriment, the exchange of delicacies among friends and giving gifts to the poor.. the story of Megilat Esther links the Purim celebration to the rescue of the Jews from their enemies. While there is room to doubt the historical accuracy of the story presented there, and in any case, it is likely that the holiday preceded the story (and was borrowed from other cultures), the story and the holiday both symbolize the rescue of diaspora Jews from racism towards them and xenophobia. Throughout the video we are witness to stolen glances directed back toward the camera and hidden faces that create a sense of threat and approaching catastrophe. The exceptional presence of a camera in the religious quarter and the sense of strangeness and the suspicion evoked by its very presence, despite the costumes and the carnival feeling, reveal the fear that outsiders are taking advantageof the ultra-orthodox image by entering their world with a camera capable of conveying not the codes of that world but only its masks to a culture that is sensitive to the power of the image. (from: Yael Bartana, exh.cat. Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hatje Cantz, 2007, p. 57)