Divided Waters in Venice

OTT“Divided Waters”, an exhibition of contemporary art, commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, May 26 – September 29, 2016, at the Palazzo Fontana, Venice, Italy.

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 26, 2016, 10am-12pm

Inspired by the 500th Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto’s creation in Venice, the exhibition presents the work of Ghiora Aharoni, Yael Kanarek, Edith Derdyk and Mirta Kupferminc in a group exhibition curated by OTT. The text-based work of these four acclaimed artists from around the globe, reverberate in excitingly different yet similar ways, exploring ideas of creation, existence and co-existence across a temporal, metaphysical and spiritual spectrum.

Mirta Kupferminc

Sigmund Freud said that Judaism is an invisible building constructed on top of a loss that granted meaning as a cultural foundation. Inspired by the historical significance of the Jewish Ghetto—a place divided from the rest of Venice by water—these text-based artworks transcend boundaries and metaphorically build bridges over divided waters.

The works inspect not just the symbolic and abstract aspects of the book, the word and the letter—but also the import of their materiality, the energy of their presence. “Divided Waters” takes us where only art can go, from the very origin of our world through the realms of our existence.

Installation of Mirta Kupferminc’s work

“Divided Waters” is the first presentation of a two-year project by OTT/Citizens Of The Text culminating in 2017 in the Citizens Of The Text exhibition in Venice, Italy held simultaneously with the 57th Venice Biennale. Art, installations and performances, inspired by Jewish texts and imbued with questions of contemporary relevance, will engage the Biennale’s international audience in an inclusive dialogue using art as a lens to explore our contemporary existence.

OTT, an international non-profit organization based in New York City, presents work by international visual and performing artists—cultural messengers creating art, inspired by the contemplation of classic Jewish text, which transcends politics, nationality and language. The bringing together of this diverse group of text-inspired artists to exhibit as Citizens Of The Text, is a personification of the global cultural identity of Jewish people today—a singular people separated by geography yet united in the metaphysical territory of text. OTT is both an acronym for Of The Text, and the Hebrew word for letter. OTT/Citizens Of The Text is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

“Divided Waters”
Ghiora Aharoni, Edith Derdyk, Yael Kanarek and Mirta Kuperferminc May 26- September 25, 2016
Palazzo Fontana, Venice Italy
Cannaregio 3829, Calle Palazzo Fontana 30121 Venezia
Exhibition Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Related Exhibition Events:

Sept 21 – 25, 2016
Selected OTT artists will participate in a Venice residency centered on text study to inspire work for the 2017 Citizens Of The Text exhibition.
The 2014 Sapir prize-winning text scholar Ruby Namdar will lead a weeklong artists residency in which OTT artists will study classic Jewish text together. Work inspired by this study will be exhibited in the 2017 Citizens of the Text exhibition. Ruby Namdar, along with his residency co-leaders Peter Miller (MacArthur Fellow and Dean, The Bard Graduate Center) and Nathaniel Berman (Professor, Brown University) will also give lectures open to the public.

Selected Works and Artist Biographies: SHALEM/CHASER

Ghiora Aharoni founded his multi-disciplinary studio for art, architecture and design in New York City in 2004. His artwork and art installations have been exhibited in New York and India, and his work is in the permanent collection of the Pompidou Center in Paris as well as private collections in the U.S., India and Europe.

Aharoni’s solo museum exhibition, Missives, opened the fall 2013 season at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (formerly The Victoria & Albert Museum) in Mumbai, India. Aharoni has also designed many architectural projects in New York including the DeKooning residence. Prior to opening his studio, Aharoni worked at distinguished architectural firms including Polshek Partnership and Studio Daniel Libeskind. He holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and is a summa cum laude graduate of The Spitzer School of Architecture at City College.


Yael Kanarek’s practice–spanning net.art, performance, sculpture, generative video works and painting–employs modes of authorship such as storytelling, poetics and multilingualism to re-form biographical predisposition of cultural associations. Selected for the 2002 Whitney Biennial,

exhibitions of Kanarek’s work include Beral Madra Contemporary Art, Istanbul; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; Holster Projects, London; Nelly Aman, Tel Aviv; HVCCA, Peekskill, NY; and Orsini Palace, Bomarzo, Italy. Kanarek’s work has also been shown in New York at the Drawing Center, Jewish Museum, Exit Art, The Kitchen, The Museum of the Moving Image, bitforms gallery, among others. Kanarek holds an MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Edith Derdyk has been producing installations related to the constitution of spatial situations since 1997, always using black cotton lines or white paper as constructive elements. The architectural space begins to become a constituent in the creation of her work, approaching contemporary theory attaching drawing to the idea of the site-specific and to sculpture. These works are often translated into other media such as engraving, photograph, small sculptures, objects and books.

Derdyk has exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including Germany, the United Stated, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Switzerland and Denmark. She has received international awards from Canada, Spain, Brazil and the United Stated, including the Rockefeller Foundation. Her work is in the collections of MAC-USP. Fundação Padre Anchieta. TV Cultura. SP; Câmara Municipal de Piracicaba; Museu de Arte de Brasília; Museu de Arte Moderna de SP; Secretaria Municipal da Cultura – Santos; Museu de Arte de Santa Catarina; Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia; Casa das OnzeJanelas – Belém/Pará; Pinacoteca Municipal – Centro Cultural SP; Pinacoteca do Estado; Casa de Cultura Judaica Library José Mindlin; Museum of Contemporary Art SP


Mirta Kupferminc has exhibited locally and internationally since 1977, with more than 90 solo shows. Her work is held in private collections and institutions, including the Palais de Glace Museum in Buenos Aires, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The Taipei Fine Arts Museum, The Ralli Museum in Uruguay, and The Library of Congress Collection in Washington,

D.C. She has received numerous grants and awards during her career, including being selected as the first international fellow by LABA in New York in 2011, receiving the Holocaust Shoa Memorial Museum of Buenos Aires Prize in 2011; receiving third prize at the International Triennial in Kochi, Japan in 2008; receiving the Silver Medal at the Taiwan International Biennial in 2006.

For images and more information on the exhibit, please visit http://www.ott2017.org or

“La patrie des juifs est un texte sacré au milieu des commentaires qu’il a suscités” — Edmond Jabes

[The homeland of the Jews is a sacred text in the midst of the commentaries it has inspired]