Israel Patrons Circle

Zohar Gotesman‘Disrupted Layer’, 2022–2023

For the first time in its history, the Archaeology Wing is hosting a contemporary art exhibition in its permanent galleries: seven sculptures by Israeli artist Zohar Gotesman engage with the displays in the galleries, disrupting the linear sequence and blurring the boundaries between periods, contents and techniques, thereby expanding the scope of the discourse on archaeology, history and art history.

Gotesman’s great love of archaeology and his fascination with the Israel Museum’s outstanding collection were the point of departure for a unique journey that reached its peak with this exhibition. The large-scale, site-specific sculptures he created converse with the archaeological finds, their historical and cultural contexts, their style, iconography and uses. dismantling and examining the artefacts on the basis of a broad reservoir of knowledge, juxtaposing the historical with the contemporary and the mundane with the sublime.

Gotesman’s works propose a personal statement about our own times, whether in a sharply critical or a humorous tone. Their overarching theme is human nature – man’s primaeval needs, drives, and inherent weaknesses – alongside the exploration of issues related to the fields of archaeology and art history, such as replication, restoration, and cultural appropriation.