Starting on 21 February 2018, the Jewish Museum Munich will be presenting an exhibition by the Jewish Museum Berlin entitled „A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew. Eran Shakine“. The exhibition will show about 30 large-format canvases and three metal sculptures, as well as works on paper by the Israeli artist Eran Shakine. The Munich show will be complemented by new works: an animation, paper cuts and colorful canvases.
In his series „A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew“ Eran Shakine humorously critiques the question of the commonalities and differences between three major world religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
A Trio on a Quest for Happiness
The exhibition’s title alludes to the opening line of a stereotype-driven joke. In sketch-like drawings in oil pastel, a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew – visually indistinguishable – explore life. On a quest for their religions’ shared origins, they find themselves in situations both routine and absurd and encounter Moses or Buddha. „I don’t laugh at religion. I laugh at human behavior,“ says Eran Shakine, clarifying his approach, which employs humor in grappling with religious contexts.
The loose lines of the oil pastels are misleading: what appear to be visual stories drawn in passing take commonplace prejudices to their absurd limits with a humorous undertone. In fact, interfaith dialogue emerges as his earnest subject. „If you take away all the things we use to set ourselves apart from each other, we all have the same basic need,“ says Shakine of his series. „Happiness.“
Art as a Reflection of Culture and Society
Eran Shakine’s work ranges from drawings and paintings to sculptures and public art. Shakine himself stresses how his practice has been influenced by street art, which he paid close attention to when he was living in New York in the 1980s. He always sees his art as a reflection of culture and society. In his works, which are often tongue-in-cheek, he addresses topics such as the mechanism of the art business, the connection between self-image and public image, and the relation ship between religions. His latest series „A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew“ has also been informed by his personal experience of life in Israel. „To live in the Middle East is to live in the eye of a storm. It’s like trying to lead a normal life in a volcanic crater.“
Eran Shakine was born in Israel in 1962 to a French father and a Hungarian mother. Both his parents had come to Israel after surviving the Shoa. After spending a number of years in Paris, London and New York, he now lives and works in Tel Aviv. His work has been exhibited at solo shows in New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Toronto, and Tel Aviv. It can be found in the holdings of the British Museum, the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Israel Museum, and many private collections.
Eran Shakine. A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew Knocking on Heaven’s Door
2nd revised edition. Edited by Jürgen B. Tesch. Munich 2017. 96 pages. 9,90 Euro.
Curator: Gregor H. Lersch, Jewish Museum Berlin
Project Coordination: Katharina Erbe and Lilian Harlander, Jewish Museum Munich
Scenography: juliette israël scenography + curatorial concepts
An exhibition by the Jewish Museum Berlin in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Munich