Iscariot

 

Solo Exhibition at the Julie M Gallery, Tel Aviv

2008

Photos: Hilit Kadouri

"Assi Meshullam is concerned with the representation of evil in a world in which the boundaries between the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil have become blurred; in a world in which instinctual violent actions have been civilized, programmed and structured into stylized liturgical and religious rituals. For him, there is a significant difference between animals of prey that hunt and kill other animals for food and human predators whose culture sanctions ritualistic animal sacrifices. He paints and sculpts domestic animals (cows and sheep), animals used for sacrifice (rams), or animals deemed impure, dangerous, or animals considered (in Islam and Judaism) as carriers of diseases (pigs, German shepherd dogs, etc.).

In his painting The Herd, 2008, the sheep look piercingly at the viewer before their slaughter-sacrifice at the Temple. Meshullam wonders how it is possible that a slaughter house and the accompanying cries of the innocent and unblemished doomed animals could exist at the very heart of this ultimate symbol of pure spirituality. The same feeling is generated by Scapegoat, 2008, where the innocent kid looks at us before being pushed off a cliff into the wilderness to atone for the sins of mankind. Both these sanguine paintings seem to have been painted with the blood of predatory man's scapegoats".

 

- Haim Maor, Like Animals, 2014.

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