Work in Progress: Considering Utopia presents new work by three contemporary Jewish artists— Elisheva Biernoff, Oded Hirsch, and Ohad Meromi—that offer new meditations on the idea of utopia.
Oded Hirsch and Ohad Meromi, whose work is being shown in a West Coast art museum for the first time, are both New York-based Israeli artists with personal connections to kibbutzim, collective farms rooted in socialist and agrarian communal ideals popular in Israel in the early part of the twentieth century. Hirsch and Meromi share a common interest in channeling the collective energy and participatory nature of the kibbutz model in their work. Hirsch’s critically acclaimed video works, filmed on the kibbutz in the Jordan Valley where the artist grew up, will be shown as well as several photographs from his new series, The Tractor. Meromi contributes an ambitious, new installation titled 1967 (the year of the artist’s birth) that offers a nuanced interpretation of utopia through the prisms of past and future. San Francisco-based artist Elisheva Biernoff’s interest lies in the importance of human action in the ongoing quest for utopia. This is reflected in the commissioned work she has created specifically for this exhibition, a magnetic wall painting that invites visitors to build their own utopian vistas.