Tohu Podcast: A Conversation with Ohad Meromi

David Duvshani talks with Ohad Meromi about sculpture, modernism, the 1990s, exile, and border crossings.

 

Ohad Meromi (b. 1967) is an Israeli artist and sculptor now living in New York. His work encompasses sculptures, installations, and collaborative actions. Meromi is one of the most influential artists in contemporary Israeli art. His works redefine the display space as part of a wider context, a place with cultural and political associations, a space for collaboration.

Meromi began to show his work when quite young, gaining the public's interest. In 1995 he had a show at the Israel Museum, in collaboration with Avner Ben Gal, curated by Sarit Shapira. In 2001 he presented The Boy from South Tel Aviv as part of the installation "Border Crossing" in "Helena," an exhibition at the Tel Aviv museum's Helena Rubinstein Pavilion. The exhibition also featured works by Gil Marco Shani and Avner Ben Gal. Meromi's installation addressed issues of migration and minorities. It included an enormous sculpture of a black boy, and border crossing boothes leading to it.

Meromi's art draws inspiration from Russian constructivism, modernist architecture, and African sculptures. They are characterized by the use of simple materials and handicraft. The works address a wide range of topics: the link between the body and politics, modernism and its expression in Israeli art and architecture, the history of the Kibbutz, migration, and national borders.

 

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Ohad Meromi, Resort, general view, CCA Tel Aviv, 2015
Ohad Meromi, Resort, general view, CCA Tel Aviv, 2015
Courtesy of the artist



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Ohad Meromi, Resort, general view, CCA Tel Aviv, 2015
Ohad Meromi, Resort, general view, CCA Tel Aviv, 2015
Courtesy of the artist


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Ohad Meromi, Sunbather, 2016, cast bronze & auto body paint, Long Island City, N.Y.
Ohad Meromi, Sunbather, 2016, cast bronze & auto body paint, Long Island City, N.Y.
Courtesy of the artist


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Ohad Meromi, Border Crossing, installation view, Helena Rubinstien Pavilion, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2001
Ohad Meromi, Border Crossing, installation view, Helena Rubinstien Pavilion, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2001
Courtesy of the artist


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Ohad Meromi, The boy from south Tel Aviv, Exterior view, Helena Rubinstien pavilion, The Tel-Aviv Museum of Art; 2001.
Ohad Meromi, The boy from south Tel Aviv, Exterior view, Helena Rubinstien pavilion, The Tel-Aviv Museum of Art; 2001
Courtesy of the artist



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Ohad Meromi, Border Crossing, markers on paper, 2001
Ohad Meromi, Border Crossing, markers on paper, 2001