Yael Bartana, A Declaration, 2006 (video still), video, single-channel projection, 7 minutes, sound
From the Collections of Arnie Druck
February 6 - July 17, 2010
Curator: Yeala Hazut
Arnie Druck's heterogeneous collections include contemporary artworks, especially in the medium of photography; early Zionist memorabilia; and countless additional items of various kinds. These collections, which bespeak the passionate drive underlying the desire to collect, document a range of cultural developments organized in a non-hierarchical manner. They are characterized by a constant tension between a desire for order and potential chaos. The internal relations among the collections are defined by the process of classifying, preserving, and selecting objects and by their arrangement into groups.
In accordance with the character of Druck's collections, the exhibition "In Detail" is composed of two parts: a selection from various collections, and a selection of photographs and a video work from his art collection. The joint presentation of these two collections reflects the manner in which they nourish one another and evolve parallel to one another. Many of the items tell the story of Zionist revival - including the protocol of the First Zionist Congress, children's books about the Israeli immigrant experience, and Boris Carmi's photographs of transit camps from the early 1950s. By contrast, the photographs of the contemporary artist capture an ephemeral, contingent reality. They reflect the tendency of Israeli art, since the 1980s, to examine crises related to sociopolitical identity, parallel to the weakening of the national consensus. The vestiges of an idealistic culture are thus presented alongside a contrasting and complementary preoccupation with life in a society that has lost its fundamental values.
The components of Druck's collections are intimately tied to his personal biography - to the liberal Jewish education he received in Manhattan during the 1950s and 1960s, his membership in Jewish student movements at the University of California, Berkeley, his deep interest in Zionism, his immigration to Israel in the 1970s, and his decision to support local artmaking. Taken together, the two parts of the exhibition thus present Druck as a collector motivated by a personal drive to preserve testimonies of a certain way of life before it dissolves.