May 9 - June 8th
CULTURE:SHOCK explores cultural heritage and its influence, or lack thereof, on modern life. The exhibition is comprised of two distinct series of mixed media works that invite the viewer to evaluate the ways we differ from, are improving on, or forgetting parts of our past.
As a descendant of Syrian Jewish immigrants to the U.S., Lenore Mizrachi-Cohen uses her own familial experience as a baseline to examine changing attitudes within generations of families who underwent forced migration and the dissonance between traditional values and contemporary culture.
Her series of mixed media lightbox collages, Nothing New Under the Sun, raises several universal issues for consideration, such as contemporary attitudes towards beauty standards and consumerism. Juxtaposing verses from Ecclesiastes in original Hebrew against constructed images of women affected by brand messaging designed to incite feelings of personal dissatisfaction and fuel consumerism, the artist brings attention to the escalating dissonance between traditional and contemporary values. The collages illustrate the contrast between values shaped by manipulative marketing tactics, and the traditional values that serve only to remind us that personal fulfillment transcends the acquisition of material possessions.
With her second series, Culture Shift, the artist explores the relevance of cultural heritage and the extent to which it influences our present through a series of embroidered photo transparencies. Photographs of the same topic, taken a generation or two apart, and typically sourced from within the same family,are re-printed on transparent paper and sewn together as one. Aligning the two images in a way that encourages comparison, the similarities and differences between the generations are emphasized through their juxtaposition and accentuated with ink and Arabic calligraphy. Sections of embroidery punctuate the work, highlighting the continued relationship between our past and our present, while other bits of thread are left dangling and frayed; reminiscent of what’s already been lost. The works hang suspended in mid-air by the few threads left intact; a poignant reminder to take care, as we barrel into the future largely disregarding what/who preceded us, not to break those last tenuous connections to our past.
“We all carry with us a blueprint of our past, and we can draw from our wells of cultural heritage to navigate us through many of our life challenges. To have an awareness about how we differ from, are improving on, or are forgetting important parts of, our past-- will help us philosophically, spiritually, physically.”- Lenore Mizrachi-Cohen
About the Artist:
Lenore Mizrachi-Cohen is a mixed media conceptual artist, currently based in Brooklyn. She received her BA in Art from Brooklyn College and has worked as an artist, graphic designer and producer since 2009. A descendant of Syrian Jewish immigrants to the US, Lenore is interested in cultural heritage and its relevance to contemporary life. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, and Israel. Lenore is also a street artist and has covered walls in Brooklyn and Jerusalem with middle-eastern motifs and phrases culled from both Hebrew and Arabic traditions.