Friday, February 17, 2017

Jewish exhibit explores Israeli artists’ complex relationship with Jesus

By Noga Tarnopolsky
Micha Kirshner’s “Aisha el-Kord, Khan Younis Refugee Camp,” a 1988, gelatin silver print, reminds many of the Christian pieta. Image courtesy of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
ISREAL---At the center of the Israel Museum’s blockbuster exhibit “Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art” is a life-size photograph of a woman draped in black caressing the head of a small baby asleep on her lap. Micha Kirshner’s 1988 image “Aisha El-Kord, Khan Younis Refugee Camp” may evoke the politics of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it just as powerfully conjures the pietà, or the Roman Catholic tradition of painting and sculpture in which the Virgin Mary holds the dead body of Jesus on her lap or in her arms. But while the photo may be a reference to the pictorial Christian tradition, Kirshner himself is Jewish. [link]