Israeli Object: A Matter of Time


About the work Untitled, 2002, in the catalogue: Israeli Object: A Matter of Time (Curator: Sophia Dekel), The Artists’ House, Jerusalem, 2002, p. 68-69.

Tal Amitai (Untitled, 2002) explores visual-cultural phenomena: bumper-stickers bearing clichés that are reproduced in thousands, maybe tens of thousands. Their displacement to a one-off acrylic painting on wood, in a rectangular format and traditional technique, takes them out of their mass setting – the rear window of a car – and frames them on the wall of an institutionalized exhibition space. Amitai extracts an existing text from the field: humane (“Shalom Haver”) and ethical (“An Entire Generation Demands Peace”) messages, alongside aggressive (“It’s all your fault”), racist (“I love any Jew,” “Only Transfer will Bring Peace”) or colonialist (“The Nation with the Golan”) verbal attacks, fuse into a short, simple and catchy eclectic blend. Their creators are quick to react, enveloping-attacking us in the public sphere, violently penetrating our private sphere. The old, familiar populist text recounts our chronicles with an aggressive font, blatant coloration and mechanized design, whether professional or amateur, meant to ensnare us. The act of removing it from its popular context strives to lend the sticker a uniqueness that contradicts the indefinable authenticity of the reproduced object (which is the “original“ in this case) that lacks the “here and-now” of the work of

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