Sternthal Books is pleased to announce the publication of our first edition, ‘The Sota Project’ by Ofri Cnaani, an artist whose work explores notions of domination, feminine bodily experience, and spatial awareness by analyzing their formal dimensions within social and psychological spheres.
The Sota Project is an immersive, multilayered video installation that reenacts a controversial text from the Talmud. The film is seamlessly projected onto the four walls of the exhibition space, surrounding the viewer on all sides. Using the four screens, the artist creates a simultaneous narrative that tells the story of two sisters, Sota and Bekhorah, who are forced to bind together in symbiotic loyalty when Sota’s husband accuses her of infidelity. Against a backdrop of jealousy, betrayal, judgment, ritual humiliation, and ultimately death, Cnaani’s installation depicts a deceptively simple moral parable that unfolds in countless ways. As James Trainor writes in his essay, Ofri Cnaani’s Sota Project “doesn’t aspire to spectacles of definitive and universal truths. In fact, in offering an ambiguous reading of an already ambiguous tale, it summons more questions than it answers, suggesting multiple, contradictory and individual truths.”
The Sota Project book is a detailed, beautifully produced volume that includes Trainor’s essay, the original script in both Hebrew and English, as well as commentaries by a variety of scholars and thinkers, including a conversation between the artist and her Talmudic mentor, Ruth Calderon. The volume includes silkscreen, foil stamping, multiple paper stocks, and double gatefolds.
The book is the first to be released by the new art book imprint being launched by Ian Sternthal and its publication coincides with The Sota Project exhibition, which opens February 16th at the Kunsthalle Galapagos, located at 25 Main Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn. It will be open until April 23rd, after which it will travel to Tel-Aviv, where it will open this summer at the Rothschild 69 contemporary art space. Sternthal Books will be hosting a preview screening of the film and an accompanying book launch party on May 12th at 7PM at The Segal Centre for the Arts in Montreal, locatd at 5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine st.