Part of Conditions of Political Choreography
Avrahami’s performance follows a sequence of stories about agriculture and its international export from Israel. Taking the form of a guided tour through a didactic exhibit, this project examines representations of agriculture in Israel from the early days of the Jewish settlement in Palestine through the establishment of the State of Israel and down to today. Agriculture in the early days of Zionism and until recently has undergone various formulations dictated by changing sociological, utopian, religious, and economic ideologies. These have manifested — and continue to manifest — through a plethora of “performances” such as cattle exhibitions in the 1930s and 1940s, flowers exhibitions in the 1970s and 1980s, and agriculture technology exhibitions throughout the years.
Agriculture, Pride, and Scruples includes a sculptural installation and an accompanying “guide” who reveals stories about the cultural lives of local rural communities, their personal and collective narratives, and how images of them were used in the national branding Israel. The work looks at the dissonance between a utopian, modest society and its representation within an aggressive and wanton global capitalist culture. Yochai Avrahami (b. 1970 in Afula, lives in Tel Aviv) works in sculpture, video, and installation. In recent years, he has researched the exhibition and presentation of images in military museums, war memorials, and visitor centers. He has held exhibitions in a variety of places, including the Tel Aviv Artists’ Studio’s Gallery (2013); the Museum of Modern Art in Gyeonggi, South Korea (2010); the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv (2008); the ACC Gallery in Weimar, Germany (2008); and the Herzliya Museum (2004). He has participated in group exhibitions at the 31st São Paulo Biennial (2014); 6th Taipei Biennial (2008); 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005); and the Tel Aviv Museum (2002). He won the Israeli Ministry of Culture Award in 2011 and the Israeli National Lottery Award for the Arts in 2004. Avrahami is the director of the Art Institute of Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tivon, Israel and teaches at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.
Photos by: Asaf Saban