Hannah- Land- 2016
Israel museum Jerusalem.
Yaniv Amar collaborating with the artist Limor Tamir
Hannah_land, mixed media installation (45 HaNevi'im Street, Jerusalem),
Curators: Ghila Limon/ Tal Bechler/Timna Seligman
At 45 HaNevi'im Street, the artist's address the recent history of the location that has become synonymous with the "Yad Sarah" Organization that occupied the building between 1976 and 1988. This organization provides free services and the loan of medical equipment to the sick, disabled, and elderly. More recently, between 2008 and 2013, part of the building served as the home of a sick and childless couple.
There are several central motifs in this large-scale installation. The most evident relates to the house’s history as the headquarters of Yad Sarah. It deals with the deconstruction and reconstruction of the ideal of the “perfect” body. The artists embrace the imperfect, “different,” and “broken” creatures of the world to create a magical and charming universe. Their work also touches on the topic of a sad childhood that refuses to fade, and, simultaneously, on the idea of a childless home or amusement park. Many of the objects are constructed with old toys or game facilities from children’s playgrounds. Milk pumps work endlessly, pumping milk for scores of absent children.
Childlessness is a common motif linking three women: the biblical Hannah – who for a long period of time prayed to God for a child; "Hannah the Supervisor" – Chief Transportation Supervisor at the Ilit junction light rail works in Ramat Gan, working next to the artists' studio, who chose not to have children; and Anna (formerly Hannah) Ticho – the well-known artist whose house, today a museum, is adjacent to the installation site. All three women served as the inspiration for the work’s title: Hannah_land – a bizarre, dysfunctional and childless Disneyland.
The work offers a strong critique of consumerism. Modern society encourages bulimic shopping and the discarding of objects which are no longer “up to standard.” By contrast, Amar and Tamir sublimate precisely those objects which everyone else refuses to acknowledge, and raise them to the level of art.
Gender issues are also tackled in this installation, as demonstrated by the playful cleaning tools. These are associated, on the one hand, with the stereotypical role of women as diligent housewives, and, on the other hand, suggest the idea that “blondes have more fun,” as they are made with the flowing manes of blonde toy dolls.
Political observations are interwoven into the “toy engine” sculptures. A dove, the traditional symbol of peace, appears decapitated and revolves around itself while “keeping an eye” on eggs that are probably not its own. A beaten-up toy horse continues “trotting” while wearing blinders, unable to look left or right, oblivious to the chaotic reality surrounding it.