Jerusalemite in a Box

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Dorit Bialer

The “Jerusalemites in a Box” series takes everyday characters, usually taken for granted, and turns them into them the focus of attention. Each character is placed in his or her own packaging, including matching accessories and wrapping. The process of taking everyday characters and turning them into action figures works on two levels. On one level, it brings “ordinary” and often “transparent” characters into the spotlight. This spotlight draws the viewers’ gaze to the figures and causes the viewers to reassess the way that they look at and relate to them. On another level, the work addresses the stereotypes and clichés we use to categorize different types of people. These boxed clichés are so bluntly exaggerated that they allow us to look at them for what they are and to ask ourselves just how much we ourselves use the same clichés and how much they are actually relevant to reality.

“Jerusalemites in a Box” is a sequel to the series “Berliners in a Box”, which the artist created after moving to Berlin in 2009. She began to work on the Berlin series in 2011, which can be seen as an outsider’s attempt to map and understand her new surroundings. The Jerusalem series provides a kind of closure for the artist, who lived in Jerusalem for five years before moving to Germany.

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