The exhibition MazalU’Bracha – Myth and Superstition in Contemporary Israeli Art reveals an array of popular and social references to amulets and good luck symbols, as manifested in contemporary Israeli art. It explores themes and concepts such as superstition, Jewish and universal myths, blessings, prayers, and folk remedies from diverse perspectives ranging from faith and acceptance to a critical approach. The exhibition begins with a presentation of authentic faith-mediating objects, both ancient and modern, from William Gross’s rich collection, and continues with more sophisticated references to “aids” used in worship as they take shape in the work of 13 contemporary artists.
All the participating artists blend a private-intimate touch with social-collective contexts, the conscious and the unconscious, which they assimilate into a personal artistic language. Each in their own way relies on the cultural materials for stimulation, introducing questions regarding individual cultural-genetic codes and those of the surroundings, which pertain to questions of identity and affiliation. The featured works are based on recognition of the human need to belong and feel protected, stemming from the realization that culture, myths, folklore, and faith form a dynamic system which constantly nourishes itself by means of accumulation and selection, and through a sense of belonging.
Most of the works were created especially for the show. They allude to the world of mysticism, while corresponding with the permanent display around them.