Israeli artist Nir Hod’s take on queer aesthetics has been mostly framed by his country’s history and by Jewish culture in general. His photos of gender-bent IDF personnel sometimes feature himself in uniform; recently, he’s started painting canvases of a precocious young “genius” of undetermined sexuality. His latest works—also paintings—revisit one of the most iconic images of the Holocaust: the photo of Jews being rounded up after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943. While most people have focused on its image of a scared little boy in the foreground, Hod has chosen to zoom in on a woman to the left who, with her hands raised, glances nervously back at a group of armed German soldiers. Just who this woman was and what her relationship to the boy may have been remains a mystery, one that Hod doesn’t solve so much as elevate to the level of art-historical inquiry.
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