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Siona Benjamin, Goldie Gross, Ronit Levin Delgado, Joan Roth, Chelsea Steinberg Gay, Yona Verwer

koresh 14, Jerusalem

Installation images by Hadas Hay

Exhibition overview:

“ACTIVATE” showcases the evolving landscape of feminist art through the contemporary works of Jewish female artists from New York. Spanning secular and religious backgrounds, different national origins, and generations, the exhibition serves as a convergence point between feminism and the art world, particularly against the backdrop of ongoing conflicts impacting Israel and Jewish communities globally.

The exhibition boasts diversity, featuring works that capture the emotions surrounding events impacting Israelis and Jews worldwide. Many pieces center around the atrocities committed against humanity, particularly women, in the recent Hamas attack. The artists delve into multifaceted expressions of feminine power within complex socio-political dynamics, addressing themes such as ongoing warfare, female bodies, heritage, intimacy, and otherness. Drawing from both Eastern and Western traditions, they amplify the voices of women silenced by conflict, advocating for feminine solidarity amidst the ravages of war.

Jewish, Israeli, and American identities transcend mere communal labels, serving as foundational texts and wellsprings of inspiration. The exhibition presents a liberated, textured portrayal of Jewish identity, with some artists choosing to make poignant political statements in response to the ongoing conflict.

Since the 1980s, Joan Roth has documented women's presence in traditionally male-dominated religious spaces, shedding light on the inequities ingrained in Jewish gender roles. Her photographic lens exposes the disparities entrenched in traditional Jewish gender roles. Roth’s recent photographs document protests against the UN's silence in response to the horrors inflicted upon women in the October 7 attack.

Goldie Gross's small-scale paintings depict the tension between the spectacle and horror of war, drawing from photographs of the previous Hamas attack on Israel and Israeli strikes on Gaza. Her works offer poignant reflections on the continuity and circularity of the conflict, capturing the essence of the ongoing turmoil. These works can be seen as a dialogue from the current war.

Ronit Levin Delgado, multidisciplinary visual and performance artist, invites visitors to engage in interactive works that prompt them to consider perspectives beyond their own. Since October 7, Levin Delgado has dedicated her practice to raising awareness of Israeli hostages in Gaza, utilizing her female embodiment and existence. Through reflections on current and traditional symbols like kidnapped posters and the Star of David, Levin Delgado harnesses "feminine" materials to evoke feminine power and amplify women's expression amidst the conflict.


Siona Benjamin's iconic light-blue-hued works intricately explore the narrative of Lilith, the biblical first woman and ex-wife, infusing her portrayal with vibrant hues and layered identity. Within Benjamin's pieces, Lilith symbolizes the diverse array of women affected by the ongoing conflict, from those directly impacted by the October 7 attack to women serving in the military and on the front lines, as well as those managing households while their husbands are deployed in the reserve army. Through her art, Benjamin invites viewers to empathize with and reflect upon the experiences of these women, amplifying their voices amidst the tumult of war.

Chelsea Steinberg Gay visualizes feminine and other marginalized voices through seismic vibrations, offering a tangible representation of silenced voices. Her work captures the essence of feminine expression, translating it into visual forms that resonate with viewers.

Yona Verwer's "Holy Waters" series portrays women who have survived abuse by Hamas, immersed underwater for spiritual cleansing and renewal. Encased in a womb-like bubble, they symbolize rebirth and separation from the mundane. Water, a source of life and purification, holds profound significance in Jewish tradition. Ritual immersion signifies transformation and renewal, echoing the resilience of these women. Through her art, Verwer reflects on the pursuit of healing amidst adversity.

Together, these artists weave a tapestry of intergenerational memory, injustice, courage, and survival, grounded in the fertile soil of New York's diverse and dynamic artistic landscape. Their thought-provoking artworks challenge societal norms, beckoning visitors to join a political rebellion fueled by the unique power of femininity.

Dates: March 15 - April 29, 2024

Koresh 14, Jerusalem

Installation images: Hadas Hay

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