This unique exhibition, spanning two separate spaces, features a new body of work created over the course of four weeks during September of this year, as Ivri Lider waited for the birth of his son in Alabama. While this is an extremely personal and intimate document, it also touches on social and political themes such as Israel’s surrogacy law and Donald Trump’s America.
This unique exhibition features a new body of work created over the course of four weeks during September of this year, as Ivri Lider waited for the birth of his son in Alabama. While this is an extremely personal and intimate document, it also touches on social and political themes such as Israel’s surrogacy law and Donald Trump’s America.
The first part of the exhibition is a slideshow documenting Lider’s journey – the flight, waiting and roaming the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, and finally the birth itself and the days following, at the hospital or in a makeshift “home”. The works were mostly created using classic 35 mm film or medium format cameras. This fact, along with Lider’s thematic and aesthetic decisions, create a nostalgic atmosphere that is enhanced through the use of an old slide projector and brings to mind childhood memories, perhaps Lider’s own in light of his son’s upcoming arrival. The projected images make us think of another time or a parallel world, a feeling which becomes even stronger in the exhibition’s second half.
In a separate space, only recently converted from a working bar, Lider creates an additional, atmospheric installation made up of photographs, video and sound. Within the bar, images from different stages of the journey blend together. American country music can be heard playing in the background while the video plays the sound of the fetus’ heart monitor in an almost disturbing loop.
The installation serves to recreate Lider’s experience of alienation, of an outsider looking at a foreign – yet extremely familiar – culture, as he waits for the most significant event of his adult life. The result is not melancholy, but detached and almost mysterious, generating a feeling of suspense and excitement.
The short poem written on the board at the bar, just above a lone photo of Albi, is the most intimate moment in the exhibition. At the same time, Lider does not provide the viewer with a sense of catharsis. The words of the poem, together with these different layers of documentation, speak to the complexity of the experience and are not devoid of personal or political criticism. We are witnesses to an honest look at the fantasy of parenthood as a narcissistic desire, as well as a great deal of criticism against inequality, both in the southern United States and in late-2019 Israel.