|Garlic Heals All
“Superstitions have always fascinated me.
I have been creating art about these things for many years. But it was here
in Israel where I found the most inspiration.”
Artist Andi Arnovitz
is one of several recent immigrants whose works are being showcased in an
exhibit of the works of new immigrants at the Dizengoff Gallery.
The exhibit is sponsored
by the Tel Aviv District, Ministry of Absorption. Opening night included
a poetry reading, music, and performance art.
After remarks by
Yudi Edelstein, Minister of Absorption, Andi charmingly and enthusiastically
spoke to us about her fascination with the way that women infuse inanimate
objects with meaning in an effort to protect their loved ones.
Her carefully crafted
display of wooden kitchen drawers filled with amulets, small pieces of garments,
threads, garlic, and other objects, including the original bonkes
[healing cups] that her great-great grandmother used to heal her family
and neighbors, provides creative insights into what are often almost unconscious
expressions of superstitious beliefs that we adhere to even in today’s modern
|Set of bonkes [healing cups] that belonged to
Andi finds Israel to be
a fertile place to explore superstition. In her own words: “Here cultures
collide on the street. Hamsas and amulets, pictures of Rebbes, old women
who read coffee grinds and tea leaves, red strings, amber, coral and turquoise…
these things are found on every street corner, in the most humble, tiny store.
I found myself lured by the layers of superstitions, these beliefs passed
down by one generation to another, from one country to another.”
|Andi with Yuli Edelstein. [photo credit:
Andi is currently working on an exploration of women
and superstition through the medium of print-making on textiles. Andi Arnovitz
made aliyah from Atlanta, Georgia, together with her husband and five children,
Text by D. Rosenbloom. Photographs
courtesy of Andi Arnovitz.