A new exhibition by the artist Nevet Yitzhak. The exhibition is the outcome of an artistic research project conducted over the last two years by Yitzhak on the Museum collections. Following a process that included extended visits to the rooms housing the collections, comprehensive study of their history, and meetings with researchers and collection managers at the Museum, Yitzhak created a surreal display that subverts the boundaries between knowledge and imagination.
The exhibition comprises three main installations that combine video, sound and items from the Museum collections. Through these three installations, Yitzhak has created a kind of alternative museum within the Steinhardt Museum, a museum that presents “facts” about nature (stuffed animals and other items from the Museum collections) alongside complete fabrications. Through this process, the artist calls out the Museum’s modes of display and asks visitors to rethink the way we learn and study nature, the knowledge collected about it, and the story hiding behind this process.
The name of the exhibition, HERE BE DRAGONS, is the English translation of the Latin caption HIC SVNT DRACONES. Until the Middle Ages, cartographers used this caption on maps to indicated uncharted regions. This caption was used to mark the borders of the world known to the West, the edges of knowledge, and from there too, the beginning of the unknown.
The curator of the exhibition, Dr. Liora Belford: “In HERE BE DRAGONS, Yitzhak showcases the mechanisms of gathering knowledge and displaying power, which give us a sense of knowledge about the history of nature. This comforting feeling gives us a sense of control over the chaos surrounding us. Yitzhak examines the Museum’s modes of display and similarly weaves a local story of the period we are living in today”
Nevet Yitzhak, video and installation artist, holds an MFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. In her work, Yitzhak takes a critical approach towards current political and cultural issues. She challenges our perception of the past by raising issues of cultural heritage and collective amnesia, as part of a complex, local identity. Yitzhak’s works have been displayed in museums around the world. In 2022 Yitzhak received the Pundak Award from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and in 2014 she received the Landau Fund Award for Arts and Sciences from Mifal Hapais and the Beatrice S. Kolliner Award for a Young Israeli Artist from the Israel Museum. In 2012 Yitzhak received the Shmuel Givon Prize from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Prize to Encourage Creativity from the Ministry of Culture and Sport.