The End of Cordova

The Cordova artists’ collective is without a doubt a unique phenomenon in the Israeli art world, in which there is almost no direct dialogue or context between the artists. Yet it is not a collective in the programmatic sense, rather a manifesto-less coming together of four young artists – Gilad Ratman, Shay-Lee Uziel, Ruti Sela and Lior Waterman – who graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem in 2001 and 2002, and who wanted, as they say, “to make a film together”. For this end they joined forces with Yonatan Levy, who has worked in theater, and with poet Roman Baembaev.

It is this cooperation, with its ongoing mutual influence, that characterizes the current show at the Center for Contemporary Art. From those represented with one work to those represented by many, the works all share a similar interest and aesthetic, a kind of Israeli Trash Pop. Shay-Lee’s sculpture and Gilad’s grandiose productions, Ruti’s staged situations, Yonatan’s paper cutouts and Roman’s inflamed letters to Ministers all a common characteristic, i.e. the redeeming of the mundane, in both its sublime and banal manifestations.

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