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Forced to be Painting - Part 2
Public Art and Early Media Archive
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Length
38'16''
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Year
1986
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Video, synchronous soundtrack. Produced for the exhibition "Yair Garbuz Presents: a Jew, a Frenchman and an Arab" (Tel Aviv Museum of Art), where it was screened repeatedly as part as an installation.

 

A Jew, A Frenchman, and An Arab | 99 minutes, VHS, synchronous soundtrack, 1986

This is the latest of Garbuz’s films, and was filmed on VHS, which enabled it to have a synchronous soundtrack. The film has a narrative, it is composed of protracted scenes, and does not contain multiple cuts, which typify many of Garbuz’s films. The plot revolves around watching three television films. Most of the time, Garbuz’s wife, Margalit, is seen in the frame, and it may be understood that her eyes are turned towards the television, the sounds of which can be heard. The content Margalit is watching alternates between a film in Arabic, a film in French, and a film in Hebrew. She describes and explains the film to Garbuz, whose voice can be heard in the background, at times asking questions. Throughout the film, she changes clothes and various accessories, including an ethnic dress, a feather in her hair, an embroidered blouse, a straw hat, a crown of flowers on her head or one big flower in her hair, and more. It seems that the changes are made in accordance with the content and origin of the film. Moreover, Margalit is bare shouldered when she relates that she is watching an erotic film, and, at one point, Garbuz puts out his hand to caress her, as though adapting real-life events to happenings on the screen in front of them, a screen beyond the viewer’s sight. Later, he himself is filmed watching an unseen program, and reacting to its content, as he cracks sunflower seeds and smokes a cigarette.

The name of the film, which initially sounds like the beginning of joke, constitutes a kind of triptych format, and continues Garbuz’s engagement with examining identities and mixing cultures. Thus, Garbuz resonates three identities in the film: Israeli-Jewish, representing his roots; French-European, the culture he longs for; and Arab as part of the local landscape. It is worthy of note that Arabic-speaking films gained special status in Israeli culture. After the Six-Day War, Israeli television began broadcasting an Egyptian feature film every Friday evening, which was watched by a great many viewers from all population sectors in Israel, and became a phenomenon located at the heart of the cultural consensus.

The way the film is shot, documenting the figure’s viewing experience without seeing the screen she is watching, produces reflective engagement with the actions of filming and watching. A triangle is formed, comprising the television, the camera, and the figure being filmed, who is also a viewer. The camera seems to be positioned parallel to the position of the television, almost fusing with it, and we viewers are in it too. Margalit (and sometimes Yair) are watching television, but they are also facing the camera, and thus also gazing at us, the viewers.

 

 

Written by Yael Gesser

 

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

Forced to be Painting - Part 2
Public Art and Early Media Archive

Video, synchronous soundtrack. Produced for the exhibition "Yair Garbuz Presents: a Jew, a Frenchman and an Arab" (Tel Aviv Museum of Art), where it was screened repeatedly as part as an installation.

 

A Jew, A Frenchman, and An Arab | 99 minutes, VHS, synchronous soundtrack, 1986

This is the latest of Garbuz’s films, and was filmed on VHS, which enabled it to have a synchronous soundtrack. The film has a narrative, it is composed of protracted scenes, and does not contain multiple cuts, which typify many of Garbuz’s films. The plot revolves around watching three television films. Most of the time, Garbuz’s wife, Margalit, is seen in the frame, and it may be understood that her eyes are turned towards the television, the sounds of which can be heard. The content Margalit is watching alternates between a film in Arabic, a film in French, and a film in Hebrew. She describes and explains the film to Garbuz, whose voice can be heard in the background, at times asking questions. Throughout the film, she changes clothes and various accessories, including an ethnic dress, a feather in her hair, an embroidered blouse, a straw hat, a crown of flowers on her head or one big flower in her hair, and more. It seems that the changes are made in accordance with the content and origin of the film. Moreover, Margalit is bare shouldered when she relates that she is watching an erotic film, and, at one point, Garbuz puts out his hand to caress her, as though adapting real-life events to happenings on the screen in front of them, a screen beyond the viewer’s sight. Later, he himself is filmed watching an unseen program, and reacting to its content, as he cracks sunflower seeds and smokes a cigarette.

The name of the film, which initially sounds like the beginning of joke, constitutes a kind of triptych format, and continues Garbuz’s engagement with examining identities and mixing cultures. Thus, Garbuz resonates three identities in the film: Israeli-Jewish, representing his roots; French-European, the culture he longs for; and Arab as part of the local landscape. It is worthy of note that Arabic-speaking films gained special status in Israeli culture. After the Six-Day War, Israeli television began broadcasting an Egyptian feature film every Friday evening, which was watched by a great many viewers from all population sectors in Israel, and became a phenomenon located at the heart of the cultural consensus.

The way the film is shot, documenting the figure’s viewing experience without seeing the screen she is watching, produces reflective engagement with the actions of filming and watching. A triangle is formed, comprising the television, the camera, and the figure being filmed, who is also a viewer. The camera seems to be positioned parallel to the position of the television, almost fusing with it, and we viewers are in it too. Margalit (and sometimes Yair) are watching television, but they are also facing the camera, and thus also gazing at us, the viewers.

 

 

Written by Yael Gesser

 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

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