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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 8, 2008
On the town
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Examining the Need to Conform
October 8, 2008   
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The Zachęta gallery in Warsaw is showing work by Guy Ben-Ner, one of the best-known contemporary artists born in Israel. The exhibition, called Zgodnie z instrukcj± (Instructions Included) opened Sept. 29. The treehouse Kit installation that appeared in the Israeli pavilion at the Biennale in Venice in 2005 brought Ben-Ner worldwide acclaim. Along with the installation, the exhibition at Zachęta features Ben-Ner's films Elia from 2003, Wild Boy from 2004, Stealing Beauty from 2007 and his latest, Second Nature.

Performance is an important component of Ben-Ner's work. The artist often appears in his own films, which also feature members of his closest family, including his wife Nava and children Elia and Amir.

In formal terms, Ben-Ner refers to various genres: documentary, educational and art films, and especially early classical cinema. He also creates video installations and combines the art of film with spatial arrangements involving sculpture and the environment. His work blends the humorous and the serious, scenes from everyday life and quotations from favorite works of literature, philosophy, films and visual arts.

Issues such as the need to conform, to "follow the instructions" concerning social roles and moral standards and one's own expectations of oneself, are the constantly reoccurring keynote themes in his work.


The exhibition runs until Nov. 16. Zachęta National Gallery of Art, 3 Małachowskiego Sq., Tue.-Sun. noon-8 p.m
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