Joshua Neustein was born in 1940, Poland. Lives and works in New York.
The Hertzliya Museum of Art is dedicated to contemporary art, which inherently delves into day to day circumstances of public and private existential issues.
Upon the opening of the new wing i endeavored to feature a work of art that engages both the architectural aspects of the building and Israeli reality.
It seems fitting to conclude Neustein’s series of ‘ash cities’ with the installation “Domestic Tranquillity, Bne Brak” In Hertzliya, following the installations in Winston Salem North Carolina, Berlin, Warsaw, and Cleveland Ohio.
In the ‘ash city’, the museum floor is covered by a powder gray, moist ash. A map of the city and its streets is shaped of the ashes. Suspended from the ceiling is a massive crystal chandelier that marks, all but touching, a “place” on the map. The question arose, which city would be designated on the floor of the museum’s immaculate new space, Herzliya, Beirut, Gaza or Bne Brak? Neustein chose Bne Brak.
Each of the aforementioned options embodies crucial conflicts, which divide the nation, and allude to issues fundamental to the State’s survival: The withdrawal from Lebanon; The Palestinian Authority; the complex interactions between the religious and secular. A parallel and ongoing dialogue conducted by Neustein with figures in the fields of art, literature, and philosophy addressed the same concerns.
Domestic Tranquillity, Bne Brak, Installation, 1999
Relief map 300 square meters, 20 tons of ashes, chandelier, video