Gefilte Fish, 2005 (video still), video, 11:10 minutes, sound, courtesy of the artist and Rosenfeld Gallery, Tel Aviv
This work reflects Boaz Arad's long-term preoccupation with Ashkenazi Jewish identity and with its status in contemporary Israeli society. It features Arad's mother demonstrating, in the style of television cooking shows, how to prepare gefilte fish - a dish identified with Ashkenazi culture. Arad creates a complex set of relations among the participating figures: the artist's voice is heard uttering the words spoken by his mother, while an additional figure - a ventriloquist - is heard uttering the artist's own words. In this manner, Arad undoes the conventional relationship between voice and image. The presence or absence of a given voice or of language, alongside related physical actions, are essential components of representing and constructing an identity, while the multiplicity of voices undermines any attempt to establish a cohesive identity.
Born in Afula, Israel, 1956; lives and works in Tel Aviv