Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz now open at Design Museum Holon, November 28 - April 30, 2018

Design and fashion form the identities and personas of revolutionary,
award-winning actress, filmmaker, muse and fashion icon.

Ronit Elkabetz Collection at Design Museum Holon- Image by Shay Ben Efraim

Ronit Elkabetz Collection at Design Museum Holon- Image by Shay Ben Efraim

November 2017: A bright yellow dress designed by Alber Elbaz, presented
as if floating in mid-air, makes one of many dramatic moments at Design Museum
Holon’s new exhibition Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz. The immersive,
multi-sensory exhibition journeys through key, defining moments of the life
of actress, director, muse and activist Ronit Elkabetz (1964-2016), utilising
cues and influences borrowed from the fashion and film industries. The exhibition
illustrates how Elkabetz created and reasserted the act of dressing as a
transgressive performative act, charging the garment with powerful meanings
and her own subjectivity. This exhibition comes together in a collaboration
between Shlomi Elkabetz, film director, brother, and close collaborator
of Ronit Elkabetz and fashion curator and historian Ya’ara Keydar. The display
of the garments was created in collaboration with designer Victor Bellaish,
who sculpted the clothes, breathing new life into them, as well as homage-
like dresses and hand sewn mannequins, which were all created especially
for the exhibition.

Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz presents the collection she left behind, comprising
of 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. These include film costumes, couture and red-carpet
dresses from both international designers including Christian Lacroix
and Alber Elbaz, and local Israeli designers like Victor Bellaish, as well as accessories,
jewellery and photographs. These are displayed alongside video art
and sound installations in a unique juxtaposition of cinema, art and sartorial
innovation.
The Lower Gallery space serves as an exposition to the exhibition. The
three-meter-long bright yellow Alber Elbaz designed dress loaned to the museum
by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris is presented as if suspended
in the centre of the room. Hidden speakers project sound bites of Elkabetz
speaking and singing, while the opening scene from a film which Elkabetz
wrote, directed and acted in, “To Take a Wife” (2004), is shown on a vast
screen. A second Alber Elbaz designed dress, which Elkabetz wore to the
Cannes Film Festival, is showcased alongside video art created by Elkabetz’s
brother, Shlomi Elkabetz, especially for the exhibition.

The Upper Gallery continues the immersive fashion and cinematic experience.
Upon entering, an ascending, 16 metres catwalk-like "bridge" in black
and gold offers viewers an alternative perspective of the overall space including
site specific video art by Shlomi Elkabetz featuring a testimony of Ronit
Elkabetz’s journey.
In addition, 28 surrealistic scenes provide different perspectives on Elkabetz's
work, including bespoke videos, film clips, music and poetry readings. One
of the scenes displays two Christian Lacroix couture dresses loaned to Elkabetz
for Joseph Dadoune's cinematographic project “Zion” (2006), while another
exhibits her Alber Elbaz’s wedding gown, famously torn during the
2014 Ophir Awards ceremony.
The Design Lab on the ground floor of the museum is temporarily transformed
into a movie theatre, showing full length feature films Elkabetz
starred in.
“This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to reapply the meaning of museum
as formulated in Ancient Greece – the hall of the muses or the arts. The
nine Muses of Greek mythology, daughters of Zeus, were the goddesses of
poetry and music, the givers of joy and the love of beauty. Many saw Ronit
Elkabetz as a modern-day muse - writers, artists and designers drew inspiration
from her image and her creative force. But Elkabetz was much more
than mere muse. Her image, as reflected in this show, was a source of
power. Her rare garment collection is an opportunity to regard design as
an instrument of expression and identity formation, and to ask questions
about ourselves and the way we define our own identity.” Maya Dvash,
Acting Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon

“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”. 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, diana@jacobperes.com


1. The images are approved for use only in the context of the exhibition
"
Jet’aime, Ronit Elkabetz". They may not be reused in the
future without the prior written approval of Design Museum Holon.
2. Images must be fully credited to all rights holders and add an
image caption according to the below table.
3. All copyrights are reserved for their owners.


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 awardwinning
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.

Jacob Peres Office