‘Oaks And Weeds’, photo transfer on canvas and wool, 100X32 cm 2021
Untitled, photo transfer gesso acrylic strings leather and ink on canvas, 62X85 cm 2021
‘Something Old, Something New’, colored pencils on paper 91X74 cm 2022
‘Nature is Calling’, colored pencils on paper, 66X95 cm 2022
‘Skull Face’, graphite and colored pencils on paper, 78X106 cm 2022
Artist Statement – Dania Weiner
About thirteen years ago I came upon a collection of slides at the family home, pictures
taken in between the 1940’s in Palestine to mid-70’s Israel. This photographic material
triggered something deep in me.
I started printing the photos and painting them, finding additional photos and establishing
a collection. At some point I came across photos depicting the people that inhabited my
home town prior to the coming of the Zionist Israelis (of which I am descended) – The
Templers, a Christian religious sect that colonized Palestine, were photographed celebrating a Hit- ler Jugend parade at the landscape of my youth. These photos were added to my
collection, followed by additional documents and found photos that I felt are somehow inter- twined, somehow related to me, my identity, my family or our shared, sometimes tragic
but mostly un-talked off history.
Every image deemed interesting is observed and kept. The practice of the artist changed–
the photo became an anchor point that organizes all the space around it. Not every painting or art- work that I create resonates a photo, not everything is made by looking at a
reference at all, not all drawings directly refer to a document. But everything coexists in a
space that is full of photographic material, full of documentation or evidence of the past.
The artworks that you see here are a series of drawings, painting and textile works that were made using the above-mentioned collection. For example, in the drawing ‘Something Old, Something New’ the portrait of a templer girl is painted and duplicated into a kind of coat of arms, with the shape of the Washingtonia palm, which was planted in my home town by the Templers. At the drawing ‘Stock Farm’ you could see a figurative representation of the Stock farm, where young European Jewish refugees were trained in agriculture during and after the second world war, in an endeavor to reshape them to fulfill the Zionist aspirations.
It is the nature of the collection with which I work that brings about a political aspect to the work, and inserts into the practice the idea of Utopia, as both the Templers and the Zionists were looking to establish one. Their failure I guess is evident through the gaze of the artist:
On one hand, the Templers, looking to bring about the kingdom of God, with an ignorance to both the colonial and racial aspects of their belief and nationalistic ambitions.
And on the other hand, the Zionists, building a new state, for the ‘new’ Jewish people
turning into a harsh political and racist reality while erasing, ignoring or utilizing the trauma of their own past.
But how do those things affect me? How one is formed out of the dreams of others, and
how history exists in the contemporary being? Rather than giving an answer I admit that I
do not fully understand.
Dania Weiner is an Israeli/ Austrian artist. Born in Beit Lehem Haglilit, Israel, in 1985, she has been living and working in Berlin since 2019, with her atelier currently located
in Neukölln. Dania received her BFA from ‘Bezalel academy of arts and design’ in Jeru- salem in 2010 and continued her studies at the ‘Hamidrasha Beit Berl’ post graduate art program in 2014. Her work practice spends from traditional painting techniques such as egg tempera and oil painting to drawing, collage and digital collage, textile work, photo transfer techniques etc. She is a collector of photos and various documents which she uses in her work.
Dania’s work is an examination of the relations between memories and being, identity, and historical, photographic representation, through figurative or surrealist representation. The visual appearance of the past (including photos and documents, all somehow relating personally to the artist) stand at the core of artworks that do not aspire to replicate it or create a re-organized, cohesive archive, but is existing and being made in clear reference and sensitivity to both its documentary, personal and political values.
Dania exhibited her work in venues such as ‘Hayarkon 19’ gallery in Israel, ‘Hanegev Museum of arts’ Be’er sheva Israel, ‘Compost magazine’ (Tel Aviv museum’s online mag- azine), ‘Arthura’ gallery Israel, galerieasterisk.de (online exhibition), STA gallery, Israel, etc. Her work is featured in several editions of Israeli artist Shiri Tarko’s Re-feel art mag- azine, with which she also collaborated on two two-person exhibitions. Dania’s first solo show in Germany is set to open in November at Mommsen 35 gallery in Berlin.