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  • Work from Antea GalleryA Space for Women’s Art at Kol Ha-Isha, Jerusalem
  • Rita Mendes-Flohr (bio)

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Antea: A Space for Women’s Art at Kol Ha-Isha, Jerusalem is an activist art gallery that seeks to bring feminist, multi-cultural issues to public discussion by presenting innovative and challenging exhibits accompanied by a wide variety of programs, including panel discussions, catalogue essays, and guided gallery visits.

Antea was established, together with Kol Ha-Isha: The Jerusalem Women’s Center, in the spring of 1994 and named after its short-lived predecessor of the nineteen-eighties on Sheinkin St., Tel Aviv. Unique in Israel, Antea, until recently, has been the only Israeli gallery devoted to women’s art. Its exhibits rest on the intersection between art and society, committed to quality, and yet acknowledging that art does not exist apart from its social context.

Among Antea’s more recent exhibits are: “The Caged Bird Sings” a solo show by Hoda [End Page 20] Jammal; “…and turn into a single scream” in cooperation with ACRI: The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which dealt with women and human rights during armed conflict; and “Thank you, Pam” a tribute by nine women artists in memory of the acclaimed feminist artist Pamela Levy. In 2008, Antea gallery launched a new project, directed by Antea co-founder, Nomi Tannhauser, Artist Mentors Artist: A Joint Exhibit.”

Antea seeks to empower women through art, offering opportunities to lesser known artists—while at the same time showing works of artists who have exhibited widely. Through our Community Art Project, Antea strives to give women of all backgrounds—some of whom are not necessarily trained artists—a stage to present alternative images of themselves and society, such as our three year project with high school art majors from diverse communities. In the same multicultural spirit, we are committed to bring diverse groups of viewers to visit the exhibits, touching on broader personal and social questions through the artworks.

King George 40, Jerusalem; Mailing address: P.O.Box 37157, Jerusalem, 91371
Tel: 6222455, fax: 6256187; [End Page 21]

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Aida Nas’rallah, untitled, 2000, acrylic and ink on cardboard, 70x200 cm

The painting shown here and the poem “The Ceremony of Women,” (English translation by Rita Mendes-Flohr) were a part of the Antea exhibit “….and turn into a single scream”—Women and Human Rights in Times of War, which received its name from the final line of the poem. The exhibit was curated by Rita Mendes-Flohr and Ronit Piso, at the Antea Gallery, in December, 2005, in cooperation with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

The Ceremony of Women

Every morning women perform their ancient ceremony embracing the flares of their dreams, and braid their longing for the water wells, for the song that returns on wings of the wind.

Every morning the women weave beds from the whips of their oppression to rest their decaying bodies, they shed the blood of abandoned desires sticking to the lashes of their eyes, and grind their dreams like moldy lentil grains.

Every morning women adorn themselves with yellowing smiles count their cups and garments and sigh at the shriveling of their erect breasts. [End Page 22] The women sustain their ancient habits, gesture and wink and pluck the hairs from the depths of their hearts.

Yearning for a hint of hope, they spit out their aging skins into coffee cups as their eyes search through wafts of cigarette smoke

But when a wall of roaring iron rises above their heads and blood spatters on the streets, when injured eyes whirl and olive trees cry out in concealed corners, then the women transform their ceremonies, tear off their longing for ancient feasts, for the beauty of their chatter. The women change their ceremonies and turn into a single scream.

Aida Nas’rallah is a Palestinian poet and visual artist, born in Um el Fahm in Wadi Ara, in 1956, lives and works in Um el Fahm, and is completing her doctorate at the...


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pp. 20-31
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2012
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