with Roee Rosen,
A lot of important political art is being done to point at something evil out there. I have respect for this position, but for me it is also problematic because it puts the artist in a position of the preacher, teacher, or judge. I see my task as being about self criticality and trying to find uncomfortable zones where things are ambiguous. Then, the ethical questions are truly experienced. – Artist Roee Rosen
We are pleased to invite you to view a new video profile about the work and practice of artist Roee Rosen. Roee discusses a number of seminal works from his expansive and international career, while sharing observations, personal experiences, and family history.
In the video, Roee reflects on the ways that he embodies characters and identities in his art practice, revealing questions about authenticity and authorship. Justine Frank (1900-1943) explores the life of a fictitious Jewish artist from Antwerp, who joins the surrealist movement in Paris in the 1920s before emigrating to Palestine in 1934. Justine Frank wrote one book, titled Sweet Sweat (1931) (co-signed by Roee), in addition to a collection of drawings and gouaches on paper that expose her inner psyche and political beliefs.
Live and Die as Eva Braun (1997), a provocative installation and artist book, consists of multilayered drawings and text that invite viewers to become Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, during the last days of the war. Discussing the ways that the past is memorialized, Roee talks about the importance of processing trauma as a way to heal.
Roee also shares the film Kafka for Kids (2022, pictured above), a feature length musical comedy that imagines stories by Franz Kafka as a brutally surreal children’s TV series that is suitable for toddlers. The film presents complicated topics in an accessible way, such as the notion of the law—a prominent subject matter in Kafka’s writing—and the nuances of childhood when living in the occupied territories.
Reflecting on these works and other projects and experiences, Roee describes his compulsion to create images, and the elation that he experiences in his art practice.
In the Studio with Roee Rosen, is part of a series of artist video profiles featuring artists based in Israel who are recipients of the Artis Grant for Exceptional Work in Uncertain Times. The video was created by Artis, edited and directed by Ian Sternthal, and produced by Sternthal Books. All rights reserved by Artis, 2022.