The Dvir (inner sanctum)

Fatma Shanan Dery / Michel Platnic

Curator: Yoav Shavit

08.09.2016 - 07.10.2016



On Thursday September 8, 2016, Alfred – A Cooperative Institute for Arts and Culture, will open a double exhibition titled ‘The Dvir’, which will feature the works of Fatma Shanan Dery and Michel Platnic.

This exhibition will be the seventh in the annual theme of 2016 – The Humane. The annual series will be divided into two sequences of exhibitions that attempt to examine the possible content of "the humane" as it is perceived today: 'the relations between the human and the divine' and 'the relations between the personal and the general'. Both sequences attempt to stress the concept of The Humane. All of the exhibitions stand alone, artistic and curatorial, but share a common concept.

The Dvir

Fatma Shanan Dery and Michel Platnic, both widely recognized and appreciated in the art world, are collaborating outside the commercial art scene and will exhibit new works which refer differently to their most fundamental contents.

Shanan Dery will exhibit a new series of paintings, which examines the relationship between the symbol and sexuality. The rug, a distinctive motif of Shanan Dery's paintings, is replaced with embroidered fabrics, and in some cases completely abandoned. In addition, the figure of the woman/ child will take a more central role in her paintings. This figure is always depicted from her waist down. The tension between the character and the traditional symbols strengthens as they are embroidered on the figure's leggings, or become a shadow she casts upon her surroundings.

Platnic will exhibit a video installation titled Well-Tempered. Each television screen will show edited historical events, juxtaposed to images of self-documentation in the spirit of the contemporary "selfie" culture. In addition, the videos will contain distorted segments from Plato writings. The screens represent the notes of a musical composition; thus the installation 'plays' Bach's The Well Tempered Clavier. The work relates to the connection between the good temperament of the civilized man, and the ability to control, suppress and do evil.


The Dvir (the holy of the holies) is the innermost sacred chamber in the Holy Temple. Its name implies its essence: it is the meeting point of speech and substance, in other words, it is a chaotic and dynamic encounter between the signifier and the signified. In the exhibition Shanan Dery and Platnic attempt to examine this phenomenon despite their different cultural background. The tension between the intimate and the general, and the symbolic and the formless, turns this cooperation into complementary parts of one process.
In addition, and as a part of a challenge posed by Alfred Gallery, the artists will produce a shared installation executed without any preparation titled 'Good Surprises'. On this part of the exhibition we have nothing to say. It is yet to be known. Its underlying principle is that of saying yes to a work composed in an intimate state. This is a small challenge to that which restrains us: the willingness to avoid any surprises in order to avoid a bad one.