Ra’anan Levy was born in Jerusalem in 1954 to Syrian-Jewish parents, themselves first generation emigrants.

Their cultural displacement took its toll on Levy’s own identity; as a second-generation refugee he describes himself as feeling like a ‘stranger’ in Israel; his identity ‘more Jewish than […] Israeli’. Yellow Light depicts an empty domestic interior. In its devoted attention to a scene consisting solely of ordinary objects – doors, floorboards, window panes – combined with an unexplained glimmer of yellow light emanating from an unknown source, it draws the viewer’s attention towards the tension between the inanimate and the animate that fills an apparently empty room. A fine coating of dust (a collection of dead skin cells) covering the floorboards testifies to a past inhabitant, emphasising – along with the open doors – the room’s currently deserted state, and imbing the scene with a sense of nostalgia (in this domestic case, a literal aching for ‘home’).

Provenance

The artist.


Ben Uri: Art. Identity. Migration

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