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HouseHold, 2001

Single-channel video, Sound, 22 min 35 sec

Courtesy of the artist and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

HouseHold unfolds within the confines of Guy Ben Ner’s children’s room in his residence. In contrast to his earlier pieces, where the theme often revolved around an urge to break free from domestic life and familial obligations, this piece paints the home as a very literal prison. The silent film convention applies solely to Ben Ner, rendering him mute and unable to call out for help, even as his family continues with their routines, oblivious to his predicament.


The absurdity of the situation is heightened as he remains stuck under his son’s crib, having attempted to fix it. Throughout his confinement, the artist showcases remarkable resourcefulness, leveraging limited resources — including his own body — to craft escape tools and liberate himself both physically and mentally.


This work resonates with Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (1956), a cinematic account of a French officer’s tenacious efforts to break free from a Nazi prison using basic tools and sheer determination. HouseHold humorously yet poignantly captures the sentiment of a young father feeling not only physically constrained by a child’s bed but also emotionally trapped, unable to truly connect with his immediate family.

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