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Call My Name




Main Gallery


Tal Yerushalmi

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Call My Name / Tal Yerushalmi

I watched the fantasy film ​The NeverEnding Story innumerable times. The protagonist is a boy who fights against The Nothing, a dark, abstract force threatening to overtake a dream world called Fantasia. The only way the boy might save this world is with his heart's wishes: the more he will enunciate new dreams, the more he will endow them with a name and form, Fantasia will continue expanding and will defeat The Nothing.

Sometimes I think that the act of painting is a way of enunciating my heart's wishes, a way of naming them. Any image I will endow with form will come into existence; any color I will lay on the canvas will become a creation that will save the painting, the earth and the world, from The Nothing that seeks to annihilate them. All that is required is for the image to be new, to present an invention and express my heart's wish.

I light a flame in the dark of The Nothing. What will I see in its light? Who is asking me to call it by its name? Is it a dove, a spider or a flower? Is it a rock, a necklace, a knife or a rope? Soil, water, the Judean Desert, the State of Israel? Anything that I will wish for, big or small, will be there; anything I will imagine and paint will come into existence and will be present in the painting.

But The Nothing refuses to yield. It has its cunning ways of sneaking back in, to prove to me that this is only an illusion, that no matter how many shapes or colors, animals or objects, countries or universes I will create – they will not be real. They are mere paintings. The three-dimensional rock that I chiseled in matter and paint is completely flat. The scythe threatening to harvest the objects in the painting is an empty space. A ghost of a scythe. The taut leather is only paper. The star lighting the skies of the Judean Desert is The Nothing incarnate. Everything is falling apart: the painting, the desert, the sky, place and time.

I do not let go. Maybe if I cut the objects out of the paintings they will become things in the real world: hanging, laid down, present. I cut out a drawn rope and place it in space. I paint a match so I may rekindle the fire. I burn a painting, and make a real hole in it. You can pass your finger through it.

But everything collapses once more. The magic of the art of painting is lost, the illusion gone: the rope looks like a snake's slough, the net becomes a shell; the painting is riddled with burnt holes. What will I do with a burnt painting?

A line emerges from the burnt hole. Who is it? A snake? Are you sure that I called your name?​ ​The snake crawls toward the burnt holes, swallowing them one by one. Perhaps the snake was hungry and came over to eat a few eggs. I can paint a bird that will lay a few fresh eggs instead of the ones devoured. Perhaps this time a snake will not appear, maybe I will not light another fire. I will draw water just to be on the safe side.

With a heart and brush I will return to yet another round in this lost battle.

I paint a bird.

* The film ​The NeverEnding Story is a cinematic adaptation of Michael Ende's German fantasy novel produced in 1984 and directed by Wolfgang Peterson.

Copyediting and translation: Orr Scharf

Tal Yerushalmi

Biographical Notes

1978 Born In Netanya, Israel


2004-2006 MFA in Fine Art, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem

2001-2004 BFA (with honors), Bezalel, Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem

2000-2001 Fine Art, Hamidrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College

2000 Fine Art Studies, School of Visual Arts, New York

Solo Exhibitions

2019 Call My Name, Maya Gallery, Tel Aviv

2018 Neither Day nor Night, Artists House, Jerusalem

2017 Sand in the Eye, Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel Aviv

2013 Ruach Ruach (Jointly with Orr Hertz), Barbur Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

2011 New Paintings, Kiriat Tiv'on Gallery

2008 Har Manoah, Janco Dada Museum, Ein Hod, Israel Massada and Gravestone, Tavi Dresdner Gallery, Tel Aviv

2007 Blow Wind, Artists' House, Tel Aviv

Group Exhibitions

2019 Ministry of culture awards exhibition, Ashdod museum

No Body No Land No Blood No Country, Bar David Museum, Kibbutz Bar Am

2018 Up to the First Touch, Atelier Shemi, Kibbutz Kabri

2017 Dynamism, Idris Gallery, Tel Aviv

2016 Take Painting, Petah Tikva Museum

Sticks and Stones, Braverman Gallery

2015 Within Reach, Ashdod Museum, Israel

Local Pulse – Mix and Match, Artists' House, Tel Aviv, Israel

Beuys, Beuys, Beuys, Binyamini Center, Tel Aviv, Israel

2012 Open Gallery on buildings, Tel Aviv, Israel

Random, BAAD gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

2010 In Between, Ashdod Museum, Israel

Face to Face, Beit Michal, Rehovot, Israel

2008 Neues Sehen, Young Israeli artists, Syker Vorwerk, Bremen, Germany

Fresh Paint Art Fair

2007 Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv

Artic 9, Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv

2006 Goods to Declare, MFA International, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Graduates Exhibition, Terminal 1, Ben Gurion Airport

2005 Lost in translation, the 9th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey

New faces, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

Would I Lie to You, Baby?, jointly with the Glasgo School of Art,



2019-20 Residency at Bezalel MFA Teaching

2016- Lecturer at the Multidisciplinary Art School, Shenkar Academy, Israel

2010- Teacher at Thelma Yellin School of Art

2007-2009 Artist-Teacher Project at Ironi Zain, Jaffa

Scholarships and Awards

2018 Ministry of Culture Creative Encouragement Award

2016 Lottery Council for Arts Support for production of a catalog

2008 Lottery Council for Arts Support for production of an exhibition

2007-2009 Ministry of Culture Artist-Teacher Scholarship

2006 America-Israel Foundation Scholarship

2005 Rich Foundation Scholarship


2018 Baskets Diary, Artist Book

Bar Yerushalmi, Artist Book Text,On Rocks and Treads

Tali Ben Nun, Neither Day nor Night, Exhibition text

Shaul Setter, Haaretz, Review on Sand in the Eye

Iris Mendel, Erev Rav, Review on Sand in the Eye

2016 Sagi Refael, Erev Rav, Review on Take Painting

Iris Mendel, Within Reach, Exhibition text Ashdod Museum

2010 Chen Lev, Haifa Time, Review on New Paintings

2008 Liav Mizrahi, Neues Sehen Exhibition Catalog

Yoram Marek Reich, Yediot Haifa, Review on Har Manoah

Dudu Bareket, Achbar Haifa, Review on Har Manoah

2007 Orly Hoffman, Blow Wind, Exhibition Text

2005 Smadar Shefi, Haaretz, Review on New Faces

Joseph Krispel, Time out Tel Aviv, Review on New Faces

Irena Gordon, Time out Tel Aviv, Review on New Faces

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