Cage, 1979 (film still), 8 mm film, 10:43 minutes, silent, color, Haifa Museum of Art Collection
During the 1970s, Dov Or-Ner performed numerous acts related to the political significance of the public sphere. In the act Cage
(1979), Or-Ner stood at the corner of Dizengoff and Gordon Streets in Tel Aviv inside a metal cage, from which he hung a sign reading "Peace Trap." This act, which took place at the same time as the Camp David talks, was meant to express Or-Ner's protest against those who viewed peace as a danger, while documenting the reactions of passersby.
In his Shoval Project (1975), which was originally documented with a super 8 camera, Or-Ner wheeled a cart containing a stone with Arabic writing on it to a Bedouin village near Hatzor, where he buried the stone. In this act, the physical body marks a concrete space, which is transformed into a symbolic space related to collective memory. Or-Ner sought to raise questions concerning the fate of refugees, both in terms of the precise circumstances of their flight/expulsion and their condition almost three decades later.
In his work The Last Meal (1979), Or-Ner slaughters a lamb, skins it and cuts it into pieces. A table for thirteen diners is then set with loaves of bread, bottles of wine and chunks of roast lamb. This act, which is related to the motif of the victim and to Christian symbols, underscores the gap between the act of slaughtering, which is considered to be socially normative, and its presentation as a shocking art work in a gallery. This act can also be related to the theme of the victim in Israeli-Jewish culture, and may also echo Or-Ner's autobiographical connection to the Holocaust.
In his work Pharavizia (1980), Or-Ner sequestered himself for two weeks with a cow and a television set at the Kibbutz Gallery in Tel Aviv. The documentation of this work shows the cow being driven in a truck from its cowshed to the streets of Tel Aviv, and later occupying the gallery space. Or-Ner's action expressed a doubtful and ironic view of the possibility of an encounter with "authentic nature" as embodied by an animal, and shed light on the obsessive consumption of cultural products as a form of vulgar behavior.
Born in Paris, 1927; lives and works in Kibbutz Hazor