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Starts Outside, 2022-2023

Video, photography

Stars Outside is the title of the first book of poetry published by Nathan Alterman in 1938

Courtesy the artist and Rosenfeld Gallery

Tal Shochat photographs her family members in a manner that speaks to the inherent conflict between the personal-familial narrative and the national-collective ethos. Through her video works and her constructed photographs, she brings together the mundane reality of the everyday, the trauma of migration and the fantasy of utopian Levantinism. The video reveals a surreal voyage of migration depicted. The ancient story on which the plot is based stretches into a mythological archetypal world, represented by the photographs. Sandstones are erected with images of trees and Persian carpets. The motion between land and sea, home, diaspora and migration touches upon an inherent lack, and an absence of a primary connection to a place, a country, a state, a homeland.


From within this sense of estrangement, the family tribe members attempt to recreate an alternative biography and form a personal mythology that does not necessarily reflect the national one. Shochat appropriates the archetypal eastern aesthetics from a position of nostalgia towards an imagined home. It is a place of non-binary identity, a promise that has yet to be broken, for an intertwined Arab and Israeli culture.

Tal Shochat Gallery Profile

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