Ruth on the Veranda, 2006, silver print
Itay Ziv: Binyamina
June 24, 2006 - October 29, 2006
Curator: Yehudit Matzkel
Itay Ziv's works are narrated from the perspective of a storyteller or a writer of fictional biographies, who spins a tale about a number of young women during one hot Israeli summer in the 1950s. The exhibition is a journey back in time, in search of the innocence and simplicity of a bygone era. Ziv invited several women friends to join him on this journey; he chose as a location his own intimate environment - his apartment in a 1950s Tel Aviv building, which he carefully filled with period objects such as a tablecloth and a vase.
Following the end of the Second World War, Israeli culture celebrated the birth of an idealized "New Jew" - a strong, patriotic sabra eager to work the land or join the country's burgeoning industry. At the center of Zionist propaganda were values such as immigration to Israel, the absorption of new immigrants, protection of the homeland and the joys of hard labor. Housewives were charged with preserving familial and domestic values; indeed, in this series Ziv aims to depict small quotidian moments of what he considers to be pure domesticity. These simple scenes describe women performing basic chores such as ironing, washing dishes and cleaning. At the same time, the images are pervaded by a sense of lassitude, seemingly due to the intense heat. The celebration of simplicity and frugality is depicted as belonging to a practical, yet gray and weary world.
Ziv photographed these images in black-and-white, and developed and printed them manually as was the custom in the 1950s. The works and their process of creation therefore delineate a fascinating attempt to examine the components of a journey to the past, which weaves together a historical perspective and fictional biographies while voicing reservations about nostalgic longing.
Itay Ziv was born in Petach Tikva, Israel (1976); he is currently enrolled in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design's M.F.A. program in Tel Aviv. He is a graduate of the photography and digital imaging department at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem (2000-2004). His solo exhibition "Tel Hashomer" was shown at the Herzeliya Museum of Art (2005). He participated in the following group exhibitions: "2005," Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv (2005); "No Other Nation," Zman Le'omanut Gallery, Tel Aviv (2004). He was awarded a merit scholarship from the Wolf Foundation for his undergraduate studies at Bezalel (2001), and was given an Artist-Teacher Award by the Ministry of Education and Culture (2005). He lives and works in Tel Aviv.