Israeli Artist Refuses To Open Exhibit at Venice Biennale Until “Cease-Fire” Agreement Reached

Artist Ruth Patir and curators Mira Lapidot and Tamar Margalit are representing Israel at the international art show.

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Artist Ruth Patir, who represents Israel in the 2024 Venice Biennale, is refusing to open her exhibit until a ceasefire and hostage release deal is reached between Israel and Hamas.

Patir and curators Mira Lapidot and Tamar Margalit are behind (M)otherland, a video exhibit centered on fertility, one of the 88 countries represented in the international art show. The organizers, however, say they won’t be opening the doors to the public until their terms are met.

“The artist and curators of the Israeli pavilion will open the exhibition when a cease-fire and hostage release agreement is reached,” reads a sign on the window of the Israel national pavilion, where (M)otherland is housed.

Journalists were among the first to witness Patir, Lapidot and Margalit’s protest on Tuesday during a limited press preview. The Biennale will open to the public on Saturday and runs until November 24.

“If I am given such a remarkable stage, I want to make it count,” Patir wrote on Instagram. “I feel that the time for art is lost and I need to believe it will return.”

“I am an artist and educator, I firmly object to cultural boycott,” she continued. “But since I feel there are no right answer[s], and I can only do what I can with the space I have, I prefer to raise my voice with those I stand with in their scream, ceasefire now, bring the people back from captivity.”

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