Artist Talk with Dor Guez in Conversation with Curator Sara Reisman at The 8th Floor

Wednesday, September 18, 6:00 – 8:00 pm The 8th Floor, 17 West 17th Street, NYC Artis, in collaboration with The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, presents The Nation’s Groves, an artist talk with Jerusalem-born artist Dor Guez at The 8th Floor in New York. Guez’s talk will focus on two of his projects that combine research of landscape and flora with traditional photographic processes to reveal less visible aspects of the region’s history. Guez will be in conversation with Sara Reisman, Executive and Artistic Director of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Artis Curatorial Seminar Alum. Guez’s project, and the title of the talk, The Nation’s Groves (2010), refers to forestation efforts led by the Israeli government, which, beginning in the 1950s, managed and maintained groves, vineyards and lands that were nationalized following the establishment of the state of Israel, serving as a branch of the Zionist enterprise. Guez presents a collection of photographs, videos and scans from different archives that document and reflect on this forestation project and the work of The Nation’s Groves company to adopt and rapidly redefine the land as part of Israel’s nation-building process. Combining historical ethos with individual tales, the project presents a structural and formal tension between the artificial and the natural, imitation and origin. Guez will also speak about his latest photographic series Lillies of the Field (2019), which examines the link between nature and culture, based on pressed flower albums that were common souvenirs for tourists and pilgrims visiting the “Holy Land” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As with some of his previous projects focused on local landscape and vegetation, Lillies of the Field tackles the ways in which representations of the landscape, explicitly or implicitly, is subjugated to Orientalist precepts. Dor Guez was born into a family of Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian lineage. Guez’s photography, video, mixed media, and essays explore the relationship between art, narrative, and memory. Interrogating personal and official accounts of the past, his artwork raises questions about contemporary art’s role in narrating unwritten histories and re-contextualizing visual and written documents. Since 2006, Guez’s ongoing research focuses on archival materials of the Middle East. His work has been displayed in over thirty solo exhibitions worldwide. To date, eight catalogues have been published internationally about his practice. Publishers include Distanz, New England Press, and A.M Qattan Foundation. The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, resilient communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supports cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need. The 8th Floor is an independent exhibition and event space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin to promote artistic and cultural initiatives. Inspired by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, the gallery is committed to broadening the access and availability of art to New York audiences. Seeking further cultural exchange, The 8th Floor explores the potential of art as an instrument for social change in the 21st century, through an annual program of innovative contemporary art exhibitions and an events program comprised of performances, salon-style discussions, and those organized by external partners.