The Messiah is a Polish Carpenter Named Maria, 2008

Action/Video Documentation

“Chosen” | Wyspa Art Institut, Gdansk, Poland & Digital Art LAb Holon | Curators: Aneta Szylak, Galit Eilat

Foreshadowing the Past | ARTISTERIUM in Tibilisi, Georgia | 2010 |Curator: Eyal Danon

In one way or the other, most of the works of Israeli artists in this exhibition deal with the coming of the Messiah or with inducing his arrival. In “The Messiah is a Polish carpenter named Maria”, the group Sala-manca traveled from Jerusalem to Gdansk to hold auditions for a “Messiah”. The group published a want-ad in Polish stating that they are searching for a “Messiah” and that the “chosen” candidate will go to Israel as part of the project. Seven people, men and women of different backgrounds, arrived at the auditions, and were tested for the part. They were asked to read aloud “messianic” Hebrew texts by Jacob Frank, Theodor Herzl, Uri Zvi Greenberg, Yona Wallach and others, texts that were sent to them previously via email, to allow them to prepare for the audition. Finally the “Messiah” part was given to Maria Sahajko, whose visit to Israel took place in August 2008. The exhibition will present photos from a film documenting the “Messiahs” visit to Israel and her initial encounter with Israelis.

Interview with Eytan Buganim, Time Out