In Prague, European, Palestinian and Israeli Views of the Middle East

The New York Times

Works by European artists reacting to conflict in the Middle East are contrasted with works by Israeli and Palestinian artists in “Middle East Europe,” a show at the Dox Center for Contemporary Art in Prague through April 20.

“One of our goals was to show the conflict as directly related to our European past as well as to the present,” said Zuzana Stefkova, one of the curators. “As Europeans, we should acknowledge the historical responsibility for what has caused the conflict in the first place. That is why we linked Middle Eastern themes to works showing current European racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”

Works on display include a realistic-looking sculpture of Ariel Sharon — currently in a coma — in a hospital bed appearing to breathe by the Israeli artist Noam Braslavsky and the film “Wall and Tower” by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana, which shows a fictitious return of Jewish kibutzniks to Poland. The Swiss artist Christoph Draeger tackles terrorism in a work in which he reconstructs the kidnapping and killing of members of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich in 1972.

The show’s second curator, Tamara Moyzes, has personal experience with the situation in Israel and the occupied territories during her time there as a peace activist.

“One of the key topics of the exhibition is a comparison of works of art proceeding from direct personal experience with those inspired by the depiction of the conflict presented by the media,” Ms. Moyzes said. “In fact, this exhibition can serve as a model study of the mechanisms of political art in general.”