Amnon Wolman, Eight SoundBooks – Architecture (detail), 2013.
  • Exhibition
Thursday, September 18, 2014 to Sunday, November 30, 2014

Koffler Gallery
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 18, 6 PM - 9 PM

Derived from an old parable, the term PARDES, meaning ‘orchard’ in Hebrew, has come to symbolize the realm of Jewish mysticism. In the legend entitled Four Entered the Orchard, four great sages who enter the esoteric practice meet different fates: one dies, one loses his mind, and one forsakes the Jewish tenets. Only one enters in peace and leaves in peace.

Developed by Toronto-based curator Liora Belford, PARDES brings together four Israeli sound and multi-media artists to investigate notions of mysticism, heresy and the occult from secular perspectives, as they relate to contemporary society. With new and recent works, they examine the mythological aspirations of military technologies, gender ideologies within ritual practices, the collapse of conventional social models, and the impact of marginalized voices on mainstream cultural traditions.

Drawing a parallel to the machine-like Ophanim angels, Nadav Assor examines the obscure undercurrents of drone development: ambitions of unbridled motion, omnipresent vision and remote-controlling power. Amnon Wolman explores gender in Judaism with a sound-embedded prayer shawl, while his sculptural audio book transcends language, lifting it to a different form of expression. Ira Eduardovna’s audio/visual piece juxtaposes chorus-sung reflections on the Apocalypse to a TV sitcom-inspired family scene – a comment on society’s decline and crumbling ideologies. Nevet Yitzhak’s audio/video installation processes archival recordings from the Israel Broadcasting Authority Arabic Orchestra (1948-1993), creating a new composition based on marginalized traditions.

Through a variety of media and artistic approaches, PARDES explores the myth of concealment and mystery that shrouds the path to spirituality, questions our search for heroic figures, and examines the individual’s need to relate to a collective intellectual realm.

Liora Belford is an MVS-Curatorial student at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. As an emerging art curator who has had the opportunity to organize numerous exhibitions in both public and private institutions, Belford's curatorial practice spans the experimental sonic realm, where she investigates the relationship between sound and space.

Nadav Assor and Amnon Wolman will speak about their work on Sunday, September 21 at the Koffler Gallery at 2 PM. Nadav Assor creates videos, installations, performances, and objects. His work deals with the performed mediation of cities, bodies and personal narratives via appropriated military-industrial technologies. Amnon Wolman is an artist/composer who works in sound art, performance sound-art, composition and collaborative projects. They will discuss their works in the exhibition PARDES in the context of their broader practices.

Regular exhibition hours:
Tuesday to Friday, 12 PM – 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM
Admission is free, closed Mondays and statutory holidays

Pardes is generously supported by Mifal Hapais. The Koffler Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.