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October 27, 2022–April 14, 2023
Magasin III Jaffa, announces Of David. A psalm, a solo exhibition by artist David Adika.
In Of David. A psalm, artist David Adika provides a cue to the heart of the exhibition by the lyrical connotation of the title. The title, which is taken from the book of Psalms, raises issues regarding the reciprocal nature of inspiration and creativity. King David may have been inspired by the divine before speaking, or perhaps poetry came first and inspiration from the divine came later.
More than just a photographic show, about David. A psalm is a photographic exhibition. Adika examines the love of photography and the exchange of looks between the photographer and his subjects by taking pictures of other photographers. He raises concerns about the body, society, and community as well as how we view images while examining issues of representation and aesthetics.
Adika has developed a visual language through his photographic practice over the years that is shaped by ethnic, national, local, sexual, and cultural identities while also imbuing his work with an identifiable personal stamp. His images try to create new identities in addition to making reference to ones that already exist. These elements are connected in Of David. A Psalm by his profession as a photographer.
Twelve portraits of artists who work with photography are featured in the exhibition. Others are his coworkers and past students, while others are his buddies. The interactions with other artists are more important than the finished pictures. Each portrait represents a meeting of various philosophies, subjects, and methods. Adika asks his fellow photographers for much more than their image, similar to the pervasive concept that something is robbed of its soul at the moment the shot is taken. He discusses the medium itself via the interactions. He sets out to photograph the members of his own species, much like a wildlife photographer, in order to learn more about himself from them.
Along with the portraits, the exhibition includes still life paintings of flowers, figurines, shells, a book, and a jar—transitional items that the artist places between his subjects and himself to reflect them in his own work. The domesticity that emerges in the images is also represented by these items. The exhibition is built like a house whose walls have been torn down, a dismantled living unit that not only recreates the setting for the photographs but also creates a deceptive space where viewers are unable to focus on one thing because every point in the exhibition unfolds multiple gazes—multiple stories.
To honor the material history of celluloid film and photographic emulsion, the pictures in the exhibition were created using a large-format camera and analog film. The interaction with the subjects of the photographs is further enhanced by this kind of practice. The ritual that is created at the precise moment the picture is taken—when Adika vanishes behind the lens and the subjects are instructed to hold their breath and remain still—all of these things add to the depth of the photographs. These portraits have a tangible quality that is visual and practically three-dimensional. The bodies have been sized very closely to life.As they move through this demolished home, the viewers come into close proximity—possibly too close—to the large paintings, virtually bumping into them. This forced proximity forces viewers into a particular level of intimacy. The viewer’s gaze merges with Adika’s, creating a third gaze of a different kind, making it difficult to tell who is gazing at whom any longer.
About the artist
David Adika was born in 1970 in Jerusalem. He lives and works in Tel Aviv-Yafo. Adika is a photographer, artist, and Head of the Photography Department at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem. He is a senior lecturer in the Department of Photography since 1999 and acquired both BFA and MFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem.
Adika’s work focuses on the visual and cultural facets of the local Middle Eastern space as a microcosm that reflects his social and family identity. His photographic corpus contains representations of various still life and portraits, blurring the boundaries between abstract conceptual language and lavish visual accuracy. Adika’s visual research explores intimate yet universal biographies, while the photographs unfold familiar and unfamiliar aspects of everyday life and highlight questions of taste and social status.
Adika’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Israel and abroad. Selected solo exhibitions include Braverman Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel (2020); Galerie Klubovna, Brno, Czech Republic (2017); MAMbo, Museo Morandi, Bologna, Italy (2016); The Open Museum of Photography, Tel Hai, Israel (2015); Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia (2014); Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel (2013); Open Lens Gallery, The Gershman Y, Philadelphia, PA (2012). In addition, Adika has participated in dual and group exhibitions including Museum Bar David of Arts & Judaica, Kibbutz Baram, Israel; Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Petach Tikva, Israel; Museum On the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel; PCG galleries, Providence, RI; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India; Tel Aviv Museum Of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; Artport, Tel Aviv, Israel; Stedman Gallery, Camden, NJ; Ashdod Art Museum, Ashdod, Israel; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel and Open Museum of Photography, Tel Hai, Israel.
About Magasin III Jaffa
Magasin III Jaffa is an exhibition space, a permanent satellite established by Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art from Stockholm, Sweden. Magasin III Jaffa’s diverse program features both local and international contemporary artists. Since opening at 2018, Magasin III Jaffa has presented solo exhibitions by Haim Steinbach, Shiela Hicks, Cosima von Bonin, Tal R, Maya Attoun and Polly Apfelbaum. The space is located on 34 Olei Zion, in a residential neighborhood rich with history and cultural diversity, that borders with Jaffa’s famous flea market. Magasin III Jaffa’s unique architecture enables passersby to view the exhibitions from the outside, day and night.
Curator: Karmit Galili
Magasin III Jaffa
34 Olei Zion