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The Compilation of the Perplexed – New Exhibition at the CSP Gallery

Curator: Yoav Cohen

Artists: Raya Bruckenthal / Bat Sheva Ross / Simha Talalaevsky / Porat Salomon

For decades now, the world of modern Jewish thought has been preoccupied with the pivotal question “what is Jewish identity?” and “is there only one way to be a Jew?” Most of the answers to these questions point to a crisis that began in the 19th century and continues to this day.

This exhibition doesn’t claim to answer such complex questions, but rather to embrace doubt and anxiety, and look at the aesthetic solutions that might be available. “The Compilation of the Perplexed” assumes that most Jewish Israeli artists working today function within a dialectical tension between seemingly opposing forces. For instance, between tradition and its actual manifestation, between the “Judeo-Christian” and Israeli-ness, and between the individual versus the universal.

The exhibition’s title combines two monumental books from the history of Jewish thought: The Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides, and Likutey Moharan (Compiled Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov). The different approaches of Maimonides and Rabbi Nachman – the one cerebral and rationalistic, the other rooted in a world of legend and mysticism – are intertwined in the title, which lends the exhibition its ideational casing. The artists in “The Compilation of the Perplexed” have the ability and gumption to give voice to the complexity and contradictions of such issues, and draw a path through their work that asks viewers to stop and look closely.

Opening: May 25, 2013 at 8:00pm

Please join us for an exhibition tour with curator Yoav Cohen on Friday, May 25 at 12:00

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