Design Museum Holon presents: Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz
A visual journey through the identities and personas of revolutionary actress, filmmaker, muse and fashion icon, Ronit Elkabetz
November 28 - April 30, 2018
October 2017: Design Museum Holon presents Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz, an exhibition created in a collaboration between film director Shlomi Elkabetz and fashion curator and historian Ya’ara Keydar. Ronit Elkabetz (1964-2016), an award-winning actress, director, screenwriter and fashion icon, had a prolific 27-year long career, which she divided between Israel and Paris. The exhibition is the result of an 18-month-long research in her wardrobe, comprising 528 apparel items meticulously collected and stored in Tel Aviv and Paris over four decades and recently donated by the Yashar and Elkabetz families to Design Museum Holon. An immersive installation will present the collection she left behind, comprising anything between couture gowns, ensembles she wore to portray movie characters and bridal gowns, alongside video art and sound installations in a unique juxtaposition of cinema, art and sartorial innovation.
“This exhibition looks inward at an iconic and inspirational muse who transcended cinema, art, fashion and activism; in this sense Design Museum Holon is re-claiming the ancient Greek meaning of the museum as "the muse", seeking to inspire people and invite them into a thought-provoking dialogue where design, culture and art are melded” says Maya Dvash, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon. “With Overview and Sound and Matter in Design, we initiated a discourse about the strong relationship between design and culture, one that we sought to continue and drive forward with this new exhibition.”
The exhibition is divided into 31 ‘scenes’, illustrating how Elkabetz created and reasserted the act of dressing as a transgressive performative act, charging the garment with powerful meanings and imbuing it with her own subjectivity and personal interpretation. Together with movies, video art projections and clips from her red-carpet moments and fashion and editorial photoshoots, as well as Elkabetz’s notes and sketches, the exhibition provides an almost tangible encounter with Elkabetz’s multi-layered identity.
“Fashion, the stated discipline the show is born of, is revealed to be a complex tapestry telling a rich story. Each object in this treasure trove has a biographical, symbolical and psychological significance. Fashion for Elkabetz was a way of transcending the physical appearance and creating an identity cherishing transgression, freedom, sexuality, identity and power through fabric. It was and still is a source of power for women everywhere. On screen, on stage, on the red carpet, anywhere and everywhere – Elkabetz shone a light on otherness, on difference, on the margins, allowing us to dare and dream of another reality – and make it a reality. "Ya’ara Keydar, Curator of Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz
“Working from the political reality of her ancestry – both distant and immediate – focusing on dress allowed her to highlight and express the place of the other, of the exceptional. Doing this, she revalorised difference, transforming it from something that should be denied and suppressed into a reality that should be fostered and nourished, used to create new standards – “visiblising” the other, making it memorable. She was removed from the fashion world, but was simultaneously at its very heart, creating new subjects to look at, making people wonder what had brought about her choice to become ‘the queen of black’ – even when wearing white. Under her hands, dress became a live action, a performance combining the ways we are gazed at with the way we gaze at ourselves. "Shlomi Elkabetz, Artistic Director of Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz
Notes to Editor
For press information or high-resolution imagery of the exhibition and Design Museum Holon, please contact Jacob Peres Office: Diana Rabba, email@example.com
In October 2017, Design Museum Holon was selected by National Geographic Traveller as one of the 15 must-sees museums around the world.
About Design Museum Holon
Designed by world-renowned architect Ron Arad, Design Museum Holon was inaugurated in March 2010 and has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting developments to emerge in the Middle East. The Museum is part of an urban regeneration initiative that aims to transform the City of Holon into a centre for design. Central to Design Museum Holon’s mission is to supply an enriching and thought-provoking environment for visitors to explore exciting and engaging design ideas, principles, processes and objects in a tactile and practical fashion. www.dmh.org.il
About Ronit Elkabetz
A gifted cinema, stage and television actress, Ronit Elkabetz (1964-2016) was also an award-winning screenwriter and director. She transformed Israeli and European cinema with a series of memorable characters: women on the margins of society struggling for their liberty against the institutions of family, tradition, marriage and the state. Elkabetz wrote and portrayed the role of Viviane Amsalem in the trailblazing and award-studded cinematic trilogy she created together with her brother, Shlomi Elkabetz, in 2004-2014 (To Take A Wife, Shiva and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem), which was screened in festivals the world over and attracted thousands to theaters in Israel, Europe and the United States. Between 1989 and 2016, Elkabetz participated in 27 films (six of which were produced by European directors; three directed by Elkabetz herself), three television movies and four series (three Israeli, one French). Elkabetz was born in Be’er Sheva on November 27, 1964, the eldest daughter of parents who had recently immigrated to Israel from Morocco. When she was ten, the family relocated to the northern town of Kiryat Yam. She studied at the fashion department of the Rodman High School there, and began modeling before her 17th birthday. In August 1982, her portrait appeared on the cover of a local newspaper – the first of many Israeli and European news and fashion magazines that would devote their covers to her in the next three decades. After her military service, she lived for periods in Netanya and Jerusalem, moving to Tel Aviv in 1987. Until the late 1980s, she worked in fashion – designing and sewing and working as a runway and photo model – and trained in Paris and New York. Between 1990 and 1997 she participated in theater shows and films in Israel. In 1997 she moved to Paris, where she continued her stage acting studies with Ariane Mnouchkine, participating in several shows there. For the Israeli audience, her persona was built up through the series of unforgettable women she portrayed, who together reformulated the space of Mizrahi women in the culture. Among those were the characters of Oshra (The Appointed, 1990), Pnina (Sh’Chur, 1994), Judith (Late Marriage, 2001), Ruti (Or - My Treasure, 2004), Viviane (To Take A Wife, 2004; Shiva, 2008; and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, 2014), Dina (The Band’s Visit, 2007) and Lilly (Invisible, 2011). Among her memorable theater performances were Tonight We Dance (1991), Hypolitus (1993), King Lear (1994), Martha (1995), One Last Striptease (1995), Indigo (1997), Roi Ubu (2000), Crumbs (2006) and Ithaca (2011). Her television appearances included Franco and Spector (2003) and Trepalium (2016), a six-part French television series in which Elkabetz played the French Prime Minister. She won dozens of awards for her film work, among them three Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars) for Best Actress. She was awarded lifetime achievement awards in New York, Paris and Tel Aviv. Gett was featured at the Cannes Film Festival Directors' Fortnight in 2014 and won an Ophir award for Best Film, was nominated to the Golden Globes and was Israel's entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. The French government awarded her the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur award in 2014, and Hebrew University, Jerusalem, awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2015. From 2011 on, Elkabetz was the president of Sister – For Women in Israel. In June 2010 she married architect Avner Yashar; and in 2012 she gave birth to their children, Omri and Shalimar.
About Shlomi Elkabetz
Shlomi Elkabetz is a film director, screenwriter, producer, and head of Sapir College Film Department. With his sister Ronit, he created the award-winning Vivianne Amsalem trilogy: To Take A Wife, 2005, awarded the Critics’ Choice Award of the Venice Film Festival; Shiva, 2008, which opened Cannes Film Festivals’ Critics Week and was awarded the Wolgin Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival; and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, 2014, which won three Wolgin Awards and two Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars), represented Israel in the Academy Awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe. He has directed two television series: The Ran Quadruplets (second season, 2010) and Edut (2011). His script, Mango, won a joint screenplay award by Israeli daily Ha’aretz, the Sam Spiegel Film School and Gesher Foundation in 2015. In 2016 he produced In Between, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival and won the NETPAC Award, the Danny Lerner Award at Haifa International Film Festival and three additional awards at the San Sebastian Film Festival. In 2017, Elkabetz was awarded the Michael Landau Prize for cinema.
About Ya’ara Keydar
Ya'ara Keydar is a Fashion Historian and curator. Her exhibition A Walk of Art: Visionary Shoes, which was exhibited in New York City in 2017, will be moving to San Francisco in November 2017. An Adjunct Instructor at New York University’s School of Professional Studies, she teaches courses on fashion museology and fashion in film. She has curated the shows Cinderella Syndrome: A Journey in the Footsteps of the Stiletto (Holon Design Museum, Israel) and co-curated Beyond Measure: Fashion and the Plus Size Woman (80WSE Gallery, New York City), which was favorably reviewed in the New York Times. Earlier exhibitions she has curated have included Happily Ever After and A Wedding Photograph – Family Wedding Photography in Israel in 1900 and 1980, both centering on wedding gowns. She got her bachelor’s degree in fashion design, with honors, from Shenkar College, Israel; and her Master’s, in Costume Studies, from NYU, in 2016. She was awarded the Samuel Ashburn Award for Leadership and Excellence. Keydar has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute and the Museum at FIT.