Permanent Residency | 20 years of the Sala-Manca Group
An exhibit with footnotes and performative actions
with the collaboration of Adi Kaplan and Shahar Carmel, Ktura Manor and Brian Hoad
Hansen House and Mamuta Art & Research Center
Over the past six years we have acquired, dismantled, assembled, and transported various temporary structures, created unauthorized replicas, searched for doubles of ourselves, and relocated our home in our search for a temporary homeland. In August 2018 we moved to Canada for an indefinite period of time, to continue this search.We began the transition with a garage sale to sell off our personal objects, as our departure approached; the sale took the form of an exhibit at the Kfar Saba Urban Gallery and explored the connection between economy, art, and life (the video Garage Sale is a documentation of the opening of the exhibit).
In Kingston, Ontario, we rented the only furnished house we could find. The Sobermans, the owners of the house, had died at the beginning of the previous decade, and their children had put the home up for long-term rental “as-is” — a kind of “family museum,” with a 1960s decor, just as their parents had left it. We lived in the house for a year, inside the set of another family. A video work in the exhibition (Permanent Residency 1) documents fragments of day-to-day family life in Kingston: our children’s cultural acclimation, forays out into nature, and musings about migration and identity.
The Soberman’s art collection included more than 40 paintings — mostly reproductions of well-known artworks, and some originals by non-canonical artists. When we returned to Israel, we commissioned Adi Kaplan and Shahar Carmel to reproduce the paintings from the collection, down to their frames. The new collection (the Soberman Collection) will become one of the permanent exhibits of the Museum of the Contemporary, of which we are the curators. In the present exhibition the Soberman Collection is presented in the framework of an installation reproducing the Soberman family living room. The installation also includes a piano, which our daughter will practice on occasionally during the exhibition opening.
Approaching the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, near the beginning of our time in Kingston, we built a Sukkah in the yard. Contrary to the custom of dismantling the Sukkah after the end of the holiday, we left our Sukkah standing throughout the entire year, exposed to the extreme changes in weather. At the end of the winter we invited Canadian painter Brian Hoad to paint the snowy landscape on the walls of the Sukkah and thus to commemorate the frozen Lake Ontario on the wall traditionally designated for an image of Jerusalem. We shipped the Sukkah with the Canadian landscapes to Jerusalem as a Gazebo, in order to install it as an ethnographic object (The Kingston Sukkah) at Hansen House, alongside the source of its inspiration: a replica of the german Deller Sukkah (1840-2017). This time we commissioned Ktura Manor to build a smaller replica of the Kingston Sukkah for the collection of the Museum of the Contemporary.
Additional works from the Ethnographic Department of the Museum of the Contemporary are presented as a “footnote” to the new works: A Geography of Cracks (documentary film, Sala-manca, 2017); Deller Sukkah (replica, Sala-manca, Ktura Manor, and Nir Yahalom, 2017); Eternal Shabbes candlesticks (object, Samuel Rotman, 1998); Deller Sukkah model (Adi Kaplan and Shahar Carmel, 2017), Eternal Sukkah model  (Ktura Manor, 2017), Eternal Sukkah – documentation (short film, Sala-manca, 2018); Amulets from the Tawfiq Kna’an Collection (Yishayahu Rabinovitch, 2014); Heim (Short film, Adi Kaplan and Shahar Carmel, 2014); Curators (Wall painting, Itamar Mendes-Flohr, 2019); Jerusalem (Ready-made, Sala-manca, 2019).
Lea and Diego (Sala-manca Group)
The exhibit was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Pais Cultural Council, Hansen House, the Ministry of Culture, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Jewish Studies Program and Cultural Studies Program at Queen’s University in Ontario, The Regina Rosen Visiting Artist Fellowship – Queen’s University, the Jerusalem Municipality, Rose Ostrovsky and the Kronhill-Pletka Foundation.
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