Elie Shamir (Born 1953, Kfar Yehoshua, Israel)
Since graduating from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Shamir has participated in many exhibitions in Israel and abroad. After years spent in Jerusalem and Boston, Shamir returned to Kfar Yehoshua village in 1999 and resettled there, as the third generation of the place’s founders.
The issue of place is present with great force and complexity in Shamir’s work; aspects of this issue pertain, among others, to that tangled knot which is tied and unraveled throughout the generations between the Jew and the land, between the immigrant and the native-born, between the local Arab and the Hebrew pioneer and his vision, between the farmer and his field.
The clumps of earth in Shamir’s paintings are placed on geological strata charged with biblical past, with primeval culture, with Zionist history, with socio-economic ideology, with artistic tradition but also with his own personal family story. Kfar Yehoshua is both a personal, specific case of an agricultural village in the valley of Jezre’el, and the story of a local ethos and starting point for fundamental questions about place.