COMPLEX HYBRIDIZATIO BETWEEN RELIGION AND SECULARITY
If I Am Not for Myself, Who Will Be For Me,2011. size h.103xL.50xW.20cm
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jack Jano was born in Fez, Morocco. He immigrated to Israel at early age and settled in Shlomi. Jano is a graduate of the Bezalel Academy
In his works, Jano creates models of tombs and synagogues made of rusty and disintegrating iron, worn-out books, melted wax, and other materials. All these are fused into a sculptural design that revives the various elements and gives them both a religious and artistic validity.
The arched structures created by Jano, a combination of models of tombs of righteous Jewish persons and of Arab sheikhs, undermine the dichotomy between ‘Arab’ and ‘Jewish’ in order to make the relationship between them visible; a relationship that the Israeli society t keeps strictly oppressed and excluded.
Jano’s work draws upon the world of Jewish tradition, and in his objects, the border between an aesthetic object and a magical one is sometimes blurred. “My studio is like a synagogue. There I pray to God to help me find my truth, so I can become one with what I do.” testifies the artist.
Thus, Jano’s deployment of artifacts from the religious world is not an act of familiarization but an act of hybridization, pointing to the difficulty of placing traditionalism within a definite sociological framework. This difficulty emerges from the refusal of Jews from Arab countries to be classified by the European categories of ‘religious’ and ‘secular’. Against this background, Jano’s work succeeds in capturing complex hybridization between religion and secularity, and not just replacing one of them with the other. In this, actually, lies its true power.