Michal Bar-Or

📍 Venue → Hospital

Looters, 2018, fragment of Installation 

The photos displayed in the installation were all found in the archive of the Antiquities Robbery Prevention Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The unit was created in the 1980s in order to enforce new regulations regarding the antiquities dug up from the Palestinian-Israeli soil. The images come from the archive listing plundered objects and documenting crime scenes along with day-to-day situations from the lives of members of the unit. The three photos that make up the core of the installation are portrayals of looters caught red-handed while getting out of a hole. We can’t really see them en face. Their faces are hidden behind the objects they took from under the ground. There is one more thing between us and them as well—the eye of the camera—which in this case has become a violent tool for incriminating evidence, a witness in the case against the looters. Their identities will remain unknown to us as we should rather investigate the broader question of what looting actually means in this case and who is being labeled “a looter” by whom.

Michal BarOr (*1984) received her BA in fine art from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem in 2008. In 2013 she graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art, London. BarOr has had international solo exhibitions at such venues as Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (2018), the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv (2017), Yad Mordechai Kibbutz (2016), and the Petach-Tikva Museum of Art (2015). She exhibited Bite the Bullet, a joint project in collaboration with Amalia Vergas, at MeetFactory in Prague (2019) and Nahar, a joint project in collaboration with Avshalom Suliman, in the Jewish Arab Collective Gallery in Kibbutz Cabri (2018), and she has participated in group exhibitions at venues including the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington (2022), the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem (2021), NŌUA in Bodø, Norway (2021); The Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism (2019), the Bat Yam Museum of Art (2019), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2018), Galeria Labirynt in Lublin, Poland (2018), NURTUREart in New York (2016), and the Jerusalem Artist House (2016). In 2018, BarOr completed a three-month residency program at MeetFactory in Prague. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Young Artist Prize awarded by the Israeli Ministry of Culture, and she completed a residency at Artport in 2016. She lives and works in Israel/Palestine.

Installation view (c) Jonáš Verešpej