Elodie Abergel is a Franco-Israeli artist focused on what she calls “sharing territories”. The majority of her artworks involve “otherness” and her audience’s intervention whom are responsible of giving birth to her artworks.
Considered as a luxury or as a decoration object, art has entered a quest where it tries to find itself useful to the numerous political and humanitarian problems of this days. Indeed in Documenta 14, one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions, artists showed a keen interest on refugee and border issues. Seemingly, artists’ desire is to bring to the contemporary art scene, a hermetic and elitist work, the hammering reality of the most of the global population. During her formative years at the Beaux Arts in Nantes, Elodie Abergel envisioned for the first time “sharing territories” a concept based on Nicolas Bourriaud’s “relational art or relational aesthetics” where human relations and interaction became a departing point to create an art piece.
Living and seeing the daily injustices in Israel, she decided to create her own non profit organization called Zellige, named after a Moorish geometric pattern abundant in constructions in Morocco and Spain.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in art, she moved to Israel to further her quest on “sharing territories”. One of the most iconic works is titled United Nation without “s” a piece alluding to the still ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel. During the following 6 years, she explored and perfected this concept with the local population, adding more element to the project’s aesthetics. Moreover, living and seeing the daily injustices in Israel, she decided to create her own non profit organization called Zellige, named after a Moorish geometric pattern abundant in constructions in Morocco and Spain. Zellige symbolised for Abergel the diversity of the region and the beauty of both, its religions and traditions. The main goal of this organization was to create a propitious context in which young people from Palestine and Israel would interact in order to produce an artwork and to understand each other. One of the most beautiful stories told by the artist is the meeting of a young Israeli soldier (17 years old), convinced of his engagement in the army, and a Palestinian (15 years old) yearning to become, like his brothers, a suicide bomber. After getting to know each other, they changed their viewpoints on war and each one of them fought against the conflict.
While developing this activities, Abergel met the French-Israeli psychoanalyst Henri Cohen Solal. He invited her to participate in his organization Beit Esther, where the latter mediates issues between Palestinians and Israeli. From this moment on, Abergel transformed her art in a social fight where her work embodied the struggle of the millions of people having to live in a state of constant fright. “In every action there is something inherently political”, stated the artist. Widening the range of her activities, she traveled last August to Israel again, this time with a group of French adolescents from disadvantaged neighborhoods to fight stereotypes and racism. Together with the OPEJ Foundation, known for aiming at protecting children, and a group of 3 artists, they conceived activities so the students could create an art piece in situ. Therefore, Abergel is not merely satisfied with the fact of pure creating, her work has to truly create an impact, and if possible to change people’s lives.
According to Abergel, an artist then is a demiurge and a catalyst creating change and later disappearing. The process not only transform the person involved but the artist itself metamorphosing his capabilities and their own frames of reference. Recently, her work was selected to take part in a group exhibition at the Haifa Museum of Art where she will be exhibiting Eaux Man’s Land a piece constituted of “Tati Bags” known in France for being used by African immigrants. Evoking the immigrant’s journey and European government’s failure to welcome them, the exhibition will explore artist’s variety of mediums and proposals to express their anger and impotence on the matter. Additionally, she will exhibit at the Gare de Lyon, for the Festival 12X12 End of DNA, a work converting gigantic skyscrapers into beautiful patterns.
A Matter of Blood
Contemporary Israeli artist Sigalit Landau explores Judaic symbols and Israel’s history. Via her artistic practice, the audience understands and is instructed on the current state of mind of the artistic ecosystem.
Passionate Territories / Rational Territories
Le Cent, a cultural factory in Paris will be hosting the exhibition “Passionate Territories / Rational Territories” by the Franco-Israeli artist Elodie Abergel.