חיים מאור: הם אני
Haim Maor: They are ME
המוזיאון הפתוח, גני התעשיה תפן ועומר, אוצרת: רותי אופק. 2011-2012. [ספר]
The Open Museum, Tefen and Omer Industrial Parks. Curator: Ruthi Ofek. 2011-2012. [Book]
They are Me
A fundamental aspect of both my life and my art is the engagement with the others within and around me. The recognition of others, the dialogue with them, and the realization that they are facets in my identity and reflections of my self, is at the core of my work.
Sometimes I admit that the others are clones or mutations which I am reluctant to accept or recognize as a part of me. At times, their deeds or shortcomings, their voluntary silence or blindness discourage or outrage me. Still, as a human being, a man, a man of culture, a Jew, an Israeli, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors, a secular person, a believer, a former kibbutz member, a resident of the Negev, a husband, a father and a grandfather, a creative artist and as someone who has urges and passions—I must admit that they are me.
The title of the exhibition, "They are Me," contains the semantic and connotative field of the following senses: They are like me; they are within me; they are a part of me; they live through me and exist through my mediation. "Clone thyself," alludes to the aspect of cloning or genetic duplication, whether due to their family relation to me or any other human bond. They are my double, my clone or my reflection in an inverted mirror, and I am theirs.
The stories of the others are my story.
The Late Prof. Dan Bar-On studied and wrote about the others within us. He proposed a socio-psychological practice of "Tell Your Life Story." The notions identified with his thinking and theory are: the others within us, collective identity, a dialogue between parties in conflict, and (socio-psychological) processing.
An essay co-written by Bar-On and Palestinian scholar Saliba Sarsar maintains that "if dialogue is to be a sustainable, ongoing process, each national community must acknowledge and respect the other's pain, whether it was party to its creation or not."1 My years-long connection with Bar-On enriched and infiltrated my artistic work.
1 Dan Bar-On and Saliba Sarsar, "Bridging the Unbridgeable: The Holocaust and Al-Nakba," The Palestine-Israel Journal 11, no. 1 (2004); see http://www.pij.org/details.php?id=17.
- Haim Maor