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The Emperor’s New Cloths

The Emperor’s New Clothes

(Installation / performance, Tel Aviv 2016, London 2017) 

The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so,” Golan said. “Because if there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016.” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, IDF deputy chief of staff during a Holocaust Remembrance speech, Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak,  Israel 2016. 

The work deals with the roots of anti-democratic, fascist and #racistexpression in Israeli society. This installation was motivated by racist comments made by Israelis, some of whom were Rabbis, in the past few years and comparing them to similar expressions made by #Nazis in the 1930s, #KuKluxKlan members, Al-Qaeda leaders and Donald #Trump. The quotes (see below) express issues such as the purity of the nation or race, ethnic or religious separation, the “natural” or religious rights for certain place, ethnic segregation, and the religious right to kill. The quotes appeared in the installation with the omissions of their subjects and of the persons who expressed them. The work gave a visual manifestation to the common denominator of these expressions and their foundation.

The sites for the works in Israel were chosen after the installation was rejected from a well-known gallery in Tel-Aviv and on the face of a threatening call to the artist from one of Tel-Aviv Museum of Art’s trustee. The sites have symbolic power or cultural importance in Israeli society and the intervention aimed to transgress the boundaries of these sites and to exhibit the “ghosts” which haunt them.

The first two interventions took place in the week in which it was revealed the Education Ministry had lifted the ban on racist expression by pupils in their Citizenship Studies final exam. Because of its nature, the work was backed by a legal consultation.

The work was not backed by any organisation or institute.

One of the art objects used in the work was donated to Mirvahim sale exhibition to cover legal expenses for Anarchists Against the Wall and the Women’s Coalition for Peace.

The Emperor’s New Clothes – Part 1:
Location: Tel Aviv Museum of Art Square, October 2017.

Objects: Minotaur statue (mixed media), Ku-Klux-Klan dress partly made from a Jewish prayer shawl (Tallit), Rhinoceros mask, sandbags partly sown with texts from the comparative research.
Action: The artist sat next to the installation and embroidered the texts from the comparative research into the sand bags as he held conversations with the museum’s visitors. The intervention ended with the museum closure.

The Emperor’s New Clothes – Part 2:
Location: The Independence Hall, 16 Rothschild Blvd. Tel Aviv , October 2017.
Objects: Painted broom with the Israeli Flag, Ku Klux Klan dress partly made with a Jewish prayer shawl (Tallit), crumpled notes with racist quotes.
Action: The artist threw on the Independence Hall’s stairs crumpled notes and mopped them to the pavement below, put them into the costume’s bottomless pockets, went up again and continued mopping as he talked with passers-by. Passers-by who were interested in the action were invited to read the text in the crumpled notes and guess who the quotes were from and who they refer to. The action was repeated until the police arrived.

The Emperor’s New Clothes – Part 3:
Location: Trafalgar Sq. London, 1st November, the eve of the 100 Anniversary for  #Balfour Declaration
Objects: Painted broom with the Israeli Flag, Ku Klux Klan dress partly made with a Jewish prayer shawl (Tallit)
Action: Saluting to Nelson

Quotes there were the basis for the work and were used in it (the list is regularly updated):

“…and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them.” Book Of Deuteronomy, Quoted in Lehava Organization Against Racial / Interfaith Mixing in the Holy Land.

“The bible is our mandate” David Ben Gurion at the Peel Commission, the British royal commission sent to Palestine in 1936.

“Zionism should not continue, and I say here, it will not continue to bow down to the system of individual rights interpreted in a universal way that divorces them from the history of the Knesset and the history of legislation that we all know,” Shaked
read more:

“What we really want to do is to be left alone. We don’t want them around. We don’t need them around. We simply want our own country and our own society.” David Duke, former head of the KKK

“I don’t want to kill any of them, I just want them to leave this place to somewhere else” The late Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of Kach movement


“The devil is toying with us… he says that if you are against mixed race marriage you are racist… The devil is trying to exterminate our people…” Shlomo Amar, Israel Chief Rabbi

“Satan’s goal is to have us violate our Heavenly Father’s law on mixing our seed with the other people of the world” White Camelia Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
“With satanic joy in his face, this youth lurks in wait for the unsuspicious girl whom he plans to seduce, adulterating her blood and removing her from the bosom of her own people. They use every possible means to undermine the racial foundations of a subjugated people.” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

“A verdict of great importance about the permissibility of killing women and children to repel the danger of killing and violation of the brothers” Abu Qatada
““I would knock the hell out of ISIS… [and] when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” Donald Trump

“There are situations that we would like, purposely, to kill innocents, and their killing is beneficial for us indeed. For example, killing the babies of our enemies.. Though they are innocent, killing them helps us to harm and hurt our enemy” Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, in “The King’s Torah”

“They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.” Uri Elitzur, quoted by Ayelet, Israel’s justice minister.

“The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is not relevant to the killing of them” Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, in “The King’s Torah”

“Our holy scriptures do not instruct us to protect innocent people at wartime” Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba colony


They “are cancer in our body” Miri Regev, Culture Ministry

“They are Cancer in our body. There is no co-existence with Cancer. Cancer you must remove otherwise you are dead.” The late Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of Kach movement

“Don’t be misled into thinking you can fight a disease without killing the carrier, without destroying the bacillus. Don’t think you can fight racial tuberculosis without taking care to rid the nation of the carrier of that racial tuberculosis. This contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself has been banished from our midst.” Hitler , Source: D Irving, The War Path: Hitler’s Germany 1933-1939. Papermac, 1978, p.xxi

“This minority is not a problem in the territories, but in our country. We have, in our country, a demographic problem.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister

“… We need to clean our land of these people” Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba colony
“…our people be set free, that these chains be burst asunder, that our great country be once again captain of her soul and master of her destinies…“Hitler in a speech in Salzburg, 7 or 8 August 1920.

“I think that there is every chance that the people will see that this is really their chance to get power back…Time for freedom folks is what I would say.” Boris Johnson, 29/02,2016 in a BBC interview





העבודה עוסקת במקורות להתבטאיות גזעניות והלך מחשבה אנטי-דמוקרטי ופשיסטי בחברה הישראלית. בסיס המייצב נעשה לאחר מחקר משווה של התבטאויות גזעניות של פוליטיקאים ורבנים ישראלים והתבטאויות גזעניות של חברי הקלו-קלאס- קלאן, בכירים נאצים, אל-קיידה, ודונלד טרמפ. ההתבטאויות עוסקות בטוהר הגזע ו/או האומה, בהפרדה אתנית או דתית, בזכויות על מקום מסויים והזכות להרג. הציטוטים הערוכים הופיעו במייצג בהשמטה על אמרם ובהשמטה של התייסות כלפי מושאם: ערבי, יהודי, שחור, מזרחי וכיוב. המייצג והמייצב נתנו ביטוי ויזואלי למכנה המשותף של התבטאויות אלו ולבסיס להגייתם. האתרים למייצג נבחרו לאחר שהעבודה נפסלה על ידי גלרייה ידועה בתל אביב ובעקבות התבטאיות של אחד מחברי חבר הנאמנים של מוזיאון תל אביב. האתרים הספציפיים נבחרו על מנת לבדוק את אפשריות ואי האפשרות של הצגת אמנות פוליטית-חברתית במוסד מוזיאלי, על כל המשתמע מכך והאפשרות (המוגבלת אף היא) להצגה אמנות טרנסגרסיבית במרחב הציבורי. המייצגים נעשו בשבוע בו הכריז משרד החינוך כי האיסור על התבטאויות גזעניות של תלמידים בבחינת הבגרות באזרחות הוסר. העבודה לוותה בייעוץ משפטי. המייצג נעשה ללא תמיכה של שום ארגון או מוסד כלשהו. אחד מהאובייקטים מהמייצב יוצג בתערוכת מרווחים, תערוכת מכירה למימון הוצאות משפטיות של ארגונים האנרכיסטים נגד הגדר וקואליציית הנשים למען שלום.

חלק א מקום: רחבת מוזיאון תל אביב לאמנות, אוקטובר 2017. אובייקטים: פסל מינוטאור מדיה מעורבת, מסכת קלו-קלאס-קלאן עשויה בחלקה מטלית, מסכת קרנף, שקי חול רקומים בחלקם עם הטקסטים מהמחקר המשווה. פעולה: האמן ישב ליד המייצג ורקם על הטקסטים על השקים תוך שיחה עם באיי המוזיאון. המייצג הסתיים עם סגירת המוזיאון.

חלק ב מקום: היכל העצמאות, שדרות רוטשילד 16, תל-אביב אובייקטים: מקל מטאטא צבוע על דגל ישראל, תלבושת קלו-קלאס-קלאן עשויה בחלקה מטלית, פתקים מעוכים עם הציטוטים מהמחקר המשווה. פעולה: האמן זרק את הפתקים על מדרגות היכל העצמאות, טאטא אותם למדרכה, שם בכיסי התלבושת שהיו מחוררים, עלה במדרגות תוך שיחרור הפתקים בשנית על המדרגות וטאטא אותם בשנית. עוברי אורח הוזמנו לפתוח את הפתקים ולנחש מי המצוטט ומיהם הסובייקטים של הציטוטים. הפעולה חזרה על עצמה עד הגעת המשטרה למקום.

חלק ג של המייצג התקיים בערב חגיגות 100 שנה להכרזת בלפור בטרפלגר סקוור, לונדון, הראשון בנובמבר 2017

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