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Artists: Ayelet Carmi & Meirav Heiman, Niv Fridman, Tamar Lev-On, Keren Farago

Exhibition overview:

A solo-night exhibition commissioned by Via Sabra, for the festive opening of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Experience Israel 2023 Minnesota Mega Mission’s journey through Israel

Exhibiting artists: 

Niv Fridman, Tamar Lev-On, Ayelet Carmi & Meirav Heiman, Keren Farago

This exhibition places 19th century Israel, during the late years of the Ottoman Empire, into the 
spotlight. During this time, the region was diverse and complex, with Jews, Turks, Arabs and European colonists coexisting in a place marked by significant political and social tensions. At that time, a Jewish state was but a Zionist dream. The title of this exhibition harkens back to the name of the central government of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul.

In the waning years of the Ottoman Empire (which came to an end in 1919, following WWI), Israel/
Palestine was fairly underdeveloped. At the same time however, the seeds of Zionism were beginning to take root, with a major influx of Jews immigrating to Israel from European and Arabic countries. Seeking a better life, this mass immigration exponentially increased Israel’s Jewish population, having a profound impact on the region. 

Diving into this fascinating period through contemporary artworks, photographs, and archival materials, the exhibition consists of two parts: 
Israeli contemporary art and a historical exhibition. The historical exhibit unfolds the story of this time and place where fragments of stories, figures, and places come together through archival photographs and maps to tell the story of Israel before the Declaration of Independence took place. The art section showcases the works of five of Israel’s contemporary artists. Each work explores an influential figure from the period before the Declaration of 
Independence, offering a modern take on local history, re-telling the narratives that shaped the collective memory of Israel. 

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