Meislin Projects is pleased to present I Am Yours and My Dreams Are Yours, a chapter of artist Hadassa Goldvicht’s exhibition The House of Life, currently on view at the Palazzo Querini Stampalia Museum in conjunction with the Venice Biennale. Goldvicht’s work often takes place within communities and institutions, using intimate conversations as the material to unravel socially and politically charged content. The House of Life, which was presented in collaboration with the Israel Museum, Jerusalem began as an exploration of Venice’s Jewish community when Goldvicht was invited to a residency by Beit Venezia, a Cultural Jewish Foundation in Venice. Through this work Goldvicht met Aldo Izzo, the now 86-year-old keeper and guardian of Venice’s two Jewish cemeteries. Once the captain of a large merchant vessel, Izzo has taken on the task of overseeing the community’s burial needs, as well as caring for the ancient cemetery, tending the stones and the vegetation and working on its restoration.
Over the course of four years, Goldvicht filmed hundreds of hours of footage, capturing Izzo’s life and work in the cemetery and at home. I Am Yours and My Dreams Are Yours includes fragments of video that Goldvicht filmed in Venice, which, like sentences, or lines of a poem, tell a story that is continuing to unfold, offering a different entry point to explore the multilayered narrative revealed in The House of Life. The exhibition includes several video works and projections that explore Izzo's personal and poetic rituals both in and outside of the cemetery. Also included are photographs of Izzo’s diaries, a captain’s log of sorts that documents his daily life. The title of the exhibition is drawn from a page in one of Izzo’s diaries, in which he quotes a fragment of a Jewish prayer, “I am yours and my dreams are yours.”
Through the works on view, Izzo is revealed as a figure who is able to seamlessly inhabit two worlds: blurring the border between life, death, and myth, a thematic thread that runs throughout much of Goldvicht’s practice. In this exhibition, Izzo becomes a lens through which to view the artistic journey and process itself, a quest to shape and preserve memory—the quest for an afterlife.
Goldvicht received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2004) and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York (2007) and currently lives and works in Jerusalem, Israel. Goldvicht’s work has been exhibited widely including at major venues such as The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; the Tate Modern, London; and The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill. Past artist residencies include The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Residency, New York University, The Center for Book Arts, and Urban Glass in New York; as well as Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.