IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Yona Verwer at Jewish Eyes on the Arts Salon April 21
April 15, 2013 at 11:11 am, by Timna Burston
10′ x 6′ x 6′
Yona Verwer will be presenting the piece during our upcoming Salon evening, April 21.
Tightrope is about the Jewish community on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Observant Jews cannot carry anything on the street on the Sabbath. The construction of an eruv, often a thin wire stretched on light poles to create a boundary, makes it possible for people to carry keys, push a baby carriage or hold a baby, or bring food to someone’s home.
This artwork explores the impact that the lack of an eruv on the Lower East Side has on families with young children and the infirm. It draws attention to the fact that, for many, not having an eruv significantly detracts from the attractiveness of living in the neighborhood.
It excludes women from fully participating in Jewish life and creates a male-dominated synagogue community. Interested in Eruv? Read about Michael Chabon’s take on it here.
This installation shows details of Lower East Side synagogue interiors, which cannot regularly be seen by many in the community, because there is no eruv. The images are a metaphor for what the women miss out on: a spiritual connection.
Video monitors inside the structure show quotes by LES residents addressing this issue.
To read more about the installation, visit Verwer’s website here.
The installation is on view at the Y.U. Museum in New York till June 30, 2013 at the exhibit “It’s a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York & Beyond”.