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Sukkot

by Dara Solomon, Associate Curator



Allan Wexler (American, b. 1949), Gardening Sukkah , 2000, wood, gardening implements, eating utensils. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.

Come see our exhibition Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life which looks at artists exploring Jewish ritual through art and design. The exhibition opened in April 2010 with Passover and closes on October 3, around the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. This exhibition is a great way to contemplate and better understand the High Holy Days.

There is a wonderful piece in the exhibition by Alan Wexler that is a Gardening Shed/Sukkah (pictured above)! With this being Sukkot, listen to Alan Wexler, one of the artists of the exhibition, speak with JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen about the meaning of Sukkot and Sukkah building. This video with other artists from the exhibition are also available in the gallery. You can look at the art and then listen to the artist talking about the work on our “video labels.”
(The video above is from the set of videos that The Jewish Museum, New York has contributed to the amazing multi-media repository created by our friends at the Indianapolis Museum of Art called artbabble.)

We would love to hear how these works help you better think about Sukkot and the other ways we all reinvent ritual. Reinventing Ritual closes next weekend, so be sure to see it before it’s gone.

During Sukkot, we eat a meal and even sleep in the Sukkah, the wooden structure you build that commemorates the type of temporary structures that the Israelites set up in the dessert while wandering for 40 years after leaving Egypt. There is a great Sukkah competition going on in New York this year during Sukkot: http://www.sukkahcity.com. The winners were just announced and their proposals are stunning. There was an impressive jury for the competition including Maira Kalman, whose retrospective is on view until the end of October at the CJM.

Chag Sameach...

3 comments:

Simone said...

Really exemplifies the idea of beautifying a mitzvah, hidur mitzvah. In helping to motivate individuals to create beautiful sukkahs you are helping heighten their experience with the holiday itself. Thank you; what a awesome idea to showcase! Really beautiful and inspiring!

anneshislerhughes said...

Have y'all seen the fantastic Sukkot City architectural contest going on in Union Square, NYC? Young, emerging designers making avant garde sukkots.

James G. Leventhal said...

the other cool video in the show is that Francisca Benitez piece "Sukkah." It's here at her site:

http://fb.laboratories.com/projects/sukkah/

...along with a bunch of other works.