Monday, November 14, 2005

The Art of Hate

The last session of the conference on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a public lecture by Elie Wiesel. In that lecture, Wiesel discussed 'Words of Hate.' He remarked that hatred cannot create literature and hatred cannot create art.

I thought about that remark when I read a review of Dana Arieli-Horowitz' book, יוצרים בעומס יתר-רצח רבין, אמנות ופוליטיקה. The book is a series of interviews with the major artists on the Israeli scene, by the head of the Art History Department at Betzalel. The leitmotif of the interviews is the abysmal (as in 'abyss') hatred and loathing of the Israeli art scene for Judaism, Zionism (especially Religious Zionism) and the political Right. The book also documents the way in which this loathing permeates and finds expression throughout Israeli art and art politics (as in keeping non-PC artists out of galleries and museums).

The irony is that, according to Professor Elie Wiesel, what they create is not Art.

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