Since the late 1990s Rona Yefman has created works based on years-long collaborations with people who challenge the mainstream. These collaborations yield layered representations – hovering between documentary and fiction, between personal life stories and socio-political narrative – that seek to express human complexities and expand the possibilities for individual freedom within a restrictive society.


Yefman’s new body of work, presented at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, focuses on the figure of Netiva Ben Yehuda (1928-2011), a legendary Palmach commander in pre-State Palestine, and, in her later years, an author, radio host, and all-round cultural icon. Netiva’s direct and honest account of her experience during the war of 1948 from her personal, feminist viewpoint reveals cracks and subversions in the documentation of the national narrative and its founding myths. In the last 15 years of her life, Netiva hosted a weekly late-night radio program, “Netiva Speaks and Listens,” that reached cult-like status among her devout listeners.


Between 2006 and 2010 the artist documented behind the scenes of the radio program and Netiva herself, who allowed the artist to spend countless hours with her camera turned on. Through Rona’s subjective gaze, the singular figure of Netiva emerges, clad in her famous purple, as a non-conformist ‘elder of the tribe’; at once wry and charming, reclusive and fragile. The portrait of Netiva the radio lady is a multi-layered collage composed of photographs, texts, video and sound, that weaves direct documentation together with historical archives, and voices from a traumatic past together with radio chats “only about the good things.”


“Rona Yefman: Radio Netiva” is curated by Tamar Margalit.


The exhibition is accompanied by printed matter in Hebrew, Arabic and English and exhibition tours in Arabic on May 14, in English on May 21 and in Hebrew on April 2, May 13 and May 28, a conversation between the artist and Tamar Margalit on April 28, a Saturday Kids Lab led by Eden Bannet on April 30 and a roundtable with the artist on June 11.


“Rona Yefman: Radio Netiva” is supported by Mifal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts, the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation, and the Ostrovsky Family Fund (OFF). Additional support is provided by Bollag-Guggenheim AG, Nathalie Mamane-Cohen and Jean-Daniel Cohen, Sommer Contemporary Art, which represents Rona Yefman, and those who wish to remain anonymous. The artist was the recipient of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute 2015 Research Award.



Images


1

Netiva Listening, 2007 [photographed] / 2022 [presented]

Inkjet print, 160 × 240 cm

Courtesy the artist and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv / Zurich


2-3 / 6

“Rona Yefman: Radio Netiva,” 2022

View of the exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo

Photo: Eyal Agivayev


4

Radio Netiva (Short Version), 2022

Color video with sound, 20 mins

Courtesy of the artist and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv / Zurich


5

Netiva at Home, 2010 [photographed] / 2022 [presented]

Inkjet print in lightbox, 100 × 150 × 3 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv / Zurich

Rona Yefman: Radio Netiva

June 11, 2022

April 2, 2022

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