October 30, 2021 - January 22, 2022
Sebastian Preuss, Weltkunst
in conversation with
January 20, 2022, 6pm
We cordially invite you to the opening of the exhibition Pretzelman Begins by Erez Israeli in our Berlin gallery. On display are more than 80 works of various techniques, genres and production methods that come together to form a large, expansive installation and confront us in many ways with the difficult, guilt-ridden relationship between Germans and Jews.
For his new exhibition, Erez Israeli has created the Pretzelman, a hybrid, mutable fantasy figure and fluid, multifunctional projection surface.
We encounter the Pretzelman in videos, sculptures, drawings, paintings, photographs, and ready-mades. Sometimes he embodies the evil, sometimes the good. Sometimes he stands for the past, sometimes for the here and now. Sometimes he seduces us, sometimes he warns us. Sometimes he shocks, sometimes he reconciles.
Erez Israeli grabs with great delight into the drawer of clichés and prejudices that shape the perception of Germans and Jews. With the help of the Pretzelman, he turns them into the opposite and directs them against the viewer himself. He uses drastic means to make us see things differently than the convention and a ritualized, encrusted memory culture usually allow. Easy to recognize, for Israeli the pretzel symbolizes the German per se. By humanizing it and bringing it to life, he endows the symbolic with both, accessibility and repulsion. He and his Pretzelman perform a ludicrous, absurd, provocative travesty, a colorful, convoluted world theater that makes you rub your eyes and choke.
Erez Israeli was born in Beer Sheva, Israel, in 1974. In the late 2000s, he became one of the best-known artists of the younger generation in his native country. In 2015, he moved to Berlin, where he addressed the German-Jewish relationship in several acclaimed exhibitions and was awarded the Falkenrot Prize in 2019. His work is held in the collection of the Deutscher Bundestag, the Neue Nationalgalerie/Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, the Tel Aviv Art Museum and the Israel Museum Jerusalem.