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6 Artists  6 Projects
Tamir Lichtenberg, Package Deal,  2013 - 2014

February 11, 2015-August 22, 2015

Location: Nathan Cummings Building for Modern and Contemporary Art

Artist: Tamir Lichtenberg

Curator: Aya Miron

In September 2013 - at the beginning of the Jewish year 5774 - Tamir Lichtenberg began to offer collectors a package deal. Each of them would pay him, in advance, the official average monthly salary (approximately NIS 9,000) and would later acquire something as yet unknown: a box containing Lichtenberg's output for that month. With the box, the purchasers of the "pig in a poke" would also receive a "Certificate of Mutual Responsibility" setting forth the terms undertaken by both parties to the deal.

Thus Package Deal is a kind of income game: a conceptual employment framework in which the artist has both freedom of choice and a secure income for the entire year. The rules of this game undermine the economic structure of the art world as well as the relationship between artist, collector, and museum. The artist collects the collectors; the collectors do not know what they have bought; the standardized price is set outside the art world (in this case, by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics); and the purchasers are aware that what they receive is part of something that may only be whole when all the months are displayed together. The artwork is not simply a final product, but rather every action that has contributed to its making, and what started out as a business transaction between artist and collector only reveals itself at the very end as an exhibition - without the Museum knowing beforehand what will be displayed.

The exhibition presents the crop of packages created during the Hebrew months into which Lichtenberg divided his project: fragments of research, writing, photography, biography, and rambling. There is a wealth of found objects, many of them discarded in the street, considered valueless because of the current conviction that everything old should be replaced by something new. Lichtenberg resurrects these disregarded objects, drawing attention to the layers of meaning they have accumulated. Seeking to cast doubt, raise questions, and change reality, he trawls the Internet and his physical surroundings for signs from the past as well as contemporary messages and asks us to re-read them with critical, or at least discerning, eyes.

Mixed media, variable dimensions