The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Artis Present
The Nation’s Groves
Artist Talk with Dor Guez, in Conversation with Sara Reisman
Wednesday, September 18
from 6 to 8pm
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, in collaboration with Artis, presented The Nation’s Groves, an artist talk with Jerusalem-born artist Dor Guez at The 8th Floor. The discussion focused on two of his projects that combine traditional photographic processes with research of landscape and flora to reveal less visible aspects of the region's history. Guez addressed the larger concerns of his practice with Sara Reisman, Executive and Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.
Guez’s project, and the title of the talk, The Nation's Groves (2010), refers to forestation efforts led by the Israeli government, which began in the 1950s. The state managed and maintained groves, vineyards, and lands that were nationalized following the establishment of Israel, and served as a branch of the Zionist enterprise. The artist presented a collection of photographs, videos, and scans from different archives, reflecting on the work of The Nation's Groves company to adopt and rapidly redefine the land as part of Israel's nation-building process. Combining historical ethos with individual tales, the project reveals a structural and formal tension between the artificial and the natural, imitation and origin. Guez also spoke about his latest photographic series Lilies of the Field (2019), which examines the link between nature and culture, based on pressed flower albums that were common souvenirs for tourists and pilgrims visiting the "Holy Land" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As with some of his previous projects focused on local landscape and vegetation, Lilies of the Field tackles the ways in which representations of the landscape, explicitly or implicitly, is subjugated to Orientalist precepts.
Dor Guez was born into a family of Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian lineage. Guez's photography, video, mixed media, and essays explore the relationship between art, narrative, and memory. Interrogating personal and official accounts of the past, his artwork raises questions about contemporary art's role in narrating unwritten histories and re-contextualizing visual and written documents. Since 2006, Guez’s ongoing research focuses on archival materials of the Middle East. His work has been displayed in over thirty solo exhibitions worldwide. To date, eight catalogues have been published internationally about his practice. Publishers include Distanz, New England Press, and A.M Qattan Foundation. www.dorguez.com
Artis is an independent nonprofit organization that supports contemporary artists from Israel whose work addresses aesthetic, social and political questions to inspire reflection and debate. Artis’ programs facilitate opportunities for arts professionals to connect with artists from Israel; foster artist engagement with the art world outside of Israel; and contextualize art from Israel within international contemporary art discourse. www.artis.art,