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Heller Gallery is pleased to present Vessels of Knowledge: Reimagining Amphorae, the first US exhibition of new work by Israeli Swedish designers and artists Noam Dover and Michal Cederbaum.
Dover & Cederbaum question the traditional boundaries between design, crafts and production, address the cultural origins of materials and techniques, and create objects that tell the story of their making. They consider their work as part of a chronology of craft knowledge, looking to create a synergy between traditional craft and contemporary possibilities of digital fabrication, open sourcing, and collaboration.
This methodology and the cultural heritage of their immediate surroundings – their studio in Ein Ayala is near one of the largest Roman Empire glass studios found in Israel – prompted them to spotlight one of the oldest known human-made storage and shipping containers: the amphora. From the Dressel Table, an amphora classification project started by the 19th century German archeologist Heinrich Dressel, to the open-source Amphora Project, Dover & Cederbaum’s work examines the amphora’s symbolic meaning as a cultural signifier on early migration paths and trade routes as well as its real impact on the development of craft and trade as propellors of our civilization’s history.
In the exhibition they weave a narrative that begins with the amphora and culminates in a celebration of the synergy between traditional glass making and digital fabrication. Vessels of Knowledge: Reimagining Amphorae features three separate series of their amphora explorations:
Soft Interpretations take the malleability of fabric as the basis for mapping the amphora shape. The light tint of these blown glass pieces is reminiscent of their clay originals.
In Cluster Amphorae Cederbaum & Dover go a step further and, by composing the outline of amphora clusters, create a new, imaginary amphorae family with the actual object simply tracing the whole of the group. Using digital drawings, which are part of the open-source Amphora Project, these works are the unlikely combination of ancient artifact forms with 21st century 3D printing and traditional glassblowing.
Five embroidered drawings of historical amphora shapes by Michal Cederbaum accompany the two series of collaborative objects.
This exhibition is being partly underwritten by AIDA, the Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts.
Cederbaum and Dover have exhibited widely in Europe including participating in presentations at Milan Design Week, and exhibitions at Glassmuseet Ebeltoft, Finish Glass Museum in Riihimäki, as well as in Berlin, London, Paris and Stockholm. Their work was shown at Design Miami and in Israel and Japan and is included in public collections at the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel; Design Museum Holon, Holon, Israel and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada.
Michal Cederbaum graduated with a BFA in Visual Communication from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Her work includes: text design for the Łódź Ghetto memorial in Łódź, Poland, Hearts and Street Signs in Tel Aviv (2004-ongoing), graphic design for the Tel-Hai Historical Museum, curation of the Israeli exhibition at the 11th Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy (2007-2008), and projections design for Orlando. She is currently a lecturer at the Wizo Design Academy in Haifa, Israel.
Noam Dover received his BFA in Industrial Design from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and his MFA in glass from Konstfack, the University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. From 2000 to 2010, he was a member of the Zik Group for visual art. His projects include scenography, interior design for David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem (2004-2005), furniture and exhibition design for Tel-Hai Historical Museum (2005-2006). Noam is a faculty member at his alma mater, the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, Israel.
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