Project   101
Sarit Achtenberg
All about a Dog

curator: Rachel Sukman

Opening: Tuesday, 24 February 2009, 6 p.m

24.2.09 – 21.3.09

New Gallery Openning Hours: Tues-Thur: 2 p.m - 7 p.m  Fri-Sat: 11 p.m - 1 p.m


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First solo exhibition at "Office in Tel Aviv" Gallery 

Sarit Achtenberg's exhibition upgrades the collective memory regarding the Israeli "Children of Winter 1973." Even though she was born in the previous winter, she belongs to the generation discussed in the famous eponymous song: "You promised a dove / an olive branch / you promised peace / you promised spring and blossoms / you promised to keep promises…". Dreams of dove and peace were a vital force for the parents' generation who served in the IDF during the Yom Kippur (1973) War. They raised their children in the hope that this would be the last war. In one of her paintings Achtenberg portrays herself as a two-year old, talking on the phone with her father in reserve service at the time.

            All the paintings in the exhibition touch upon the notion of childhood. They depict a present of olden days, and are based on the artist's family album prior to the birth of her younger brother. "The concentration on my personal biography," Achtenberg notes, "is a sharply focused choice of the first four years of my life." In those years the family lived in a housing-block apartment in Kiryat Haim near Haifa.

            The exhibition "All about a Dog" describes a disappearing world: dress style (Ata clothes; Hamegaper shoes; dotted and checked shirts in warm shades of red and orange, always tucked in; exaggerated bell bottoms, fastened with a belt; shoulder straps attached to a skirt or to large Bermuda shorts), toys and games (such as the scooter and three-wheeled tractor), a car which now looks like a vintage model, but looked old even when it was brand new, and house and yard accessories, such as the inflatable pool people used to take to the beach, a light blue plastic bassinet standing on a high stool, a dial telephone attached to the hand piece with a coiled cord and to the socket in the wall with a telephone wire, and the recliner interwoven with warp and weft plastic strips, on which you sit in pairs. 

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This is a first solo exhibition for the young artist Sarit Achtenberg [BA, University of Haifa; Advanced Studies Program in Fine Art (The "Fifth Year" Program for Young Artists), Kalisher School of Art, The Teachers' College of Technology, Tel Aviv]. Achtenberg works in traditional techniques, in oil on canvas or wood. Beyond the nostalgia and the documentary value inherent in perpetuation of the 1970s in a country which was still naïve and somewhat dreamy, the paintings are realistic, highly engaging and moving.