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Joseph Sassoon Semah

Joseph Semah (24.02.1948) was born in Baghdad, Iraq. From 1950 he grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. After finishing gymnasium, Semah studied at the University of Tel Aviv. At the same time he was developing his artistic venue.
Joseph Semah's grandfather, Hacham/Rabbi Sassoon Kadoori was the president of the Jewish community in Baghdad, who preached tolerance between the various religious denominations.

Semah’s work is best described as a profound and wide-ranging exploration of the links between language and a man made images. A scholar of many classical texts, he creates his own conceptual and pictorial world as part of his quest, placing human beings at the centre of this world. Semah seeks to understand people in the present day, in relation to communities with their own culture and history. His works stands in a long tradition of liberal humanistic thinking reaching from Baruch de Spinoza to the Frankfurter Schule.

In Semah's own words: 'I still read each and every art work on display through the tradition/history of the Hebrew language. In this context, one can say that each art work of mine is nothing but a footnote to my research, to my desire to understand what contemporary art actually means, what is meant by tolerance, what the meaning of being in exile is and what it means to be a guest.'

 

 

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah (24.02.1948) was born in Baghdad, Iraq. From 1950 he grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. After finishing gymnasium, Semah studied at the University of Tel Aviv. At the same time he was developing his artistic venue.
Joseph Semah's grandfather, Hacham/Rabbi Sassoon Kadoori was the president of the Jewish community in Baghdad, who preached tolerance between the various religious denominations.

Semah’s work is best described as a profound and wide-ranging exploration of the links between language and a man made images. A scholar of many classical texts, he creates his own conceptual and pictorial world as part of his quest, placing human beings at the centre of this world. Semah seeks to understand people in the present day, in relation to communities with their own culture and history. His works stands in a long tradition of liberal humanistic thinking reaching from Baruch de Spinoza to the Frankfurter Schule.

In Semah's own words: 'I still read each and every art work on display through the tradition/history of the Hebrew language. In this context, one can say that each art work of mine is nothing but a footnote to my research, to my desire to understand what contemporary art actually means, what is meant by tolerance, what the meaning of being in exile is and what it means to be a guest.'

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah (24.02.1948) was born in Baghdad, Iraq. From 1950 he grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. After finishing gymnasium, Semah studied at the University of Tel Aviv. At the same time he was developing his artistic venue.
Joseph Semah's grandfather, Hacham/Rabbi Sassoon Kadoori was the president of the Jewish community in Baghdad, who preached tolerance between the various religious denominations.

Semah’s work is best described as a profound and wide-ranging exploration of the links between language and a man made images. A scholar of many classical texts, he creates his own conceptual and pictorial world as part of his quest, placing human beings at the centre of this world. Semah seeks to understand people in the present day, in relation to communities with their own culture and history. His works stands in a long tradition of liberal humanistic thinking reaching from Baruch de Spinoza to the Frankfurter Schule.

In Semah's own words: 'I still read each and every art work on display through the tradition/history of the Hebrew language. In this context, one can say that each art work of mine is nothing but a footnote to my research, to my desire to understand what contemporary art actually means, what is meant by tolerance, what the meaning of being in exile is and what it means to be a guest.'

Joseph Semah

Joseph Semah (24.02.1948) was born in Baghdad, Iraq. From 1950 he grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. After finishing gymnasium, Semah studied at the University of Tel Aviv. At the same time he was developing his artistic venue.
Joseph Semah's grandfather, Hacham/Rabbi Sassoon Kadoori was the president of the Jewish community in Baghdad, who preached tolerance between the various religious denominations.

Semah’s work is best described as a profound and wide-ranging exploration of the links between language and a man made images. A scholar of many classical texts, he creates his own conceptual and pictorial world as part of his quest, placing human beings at the centre of this world. Semah seeks to understand people in the present day, in relation to communities with their own culture and history. His works stands in a long tradition of liberal humanistic thinking reaching from Baruch de Spinoza to the Frankfurter Schule.

In Semah's own words: 'I still read each and every art work on display through the tradition/history of the Hebrew language. In this context, one can say that each art work of mine is nothing but a footnote to my research, to my desire to understand what contemporary art actually means, what is meant by tolerance, what the meaning of being in exile is and what it means to be a guest.'

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A WOODEN CHAIR, 10 WALKING STICKS

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IRON, WOOD, GLASS, PAINT

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TRACING MARTIN HEIDEGGER’S HUT AND PAUL CELAN’S CLOUDS

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TRACING MARTIN HEIDEGGER’S HUT AND PAUL CELAN’S CLOUDS

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TRACING MARTIN HEIDEGGER’S HUT AND PAUL CELAN’S CLOUDS

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TRACING MARTIN HEIDEGGER’S HUT AND PAUL CELAN’S CLOUDS

DSC_3229 a kopie 2

1979. 86x52cm

1979. 86x52cm

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1983. 43x30cm

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TRACING MARTIN HEIDEGGER’S HUT AND PAUL CELAN’S CLOUDS

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1983. 43x30cm

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SEFAT IMI SEFAT EVER

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AS ONE DIES, SO DIES THE OTHER

1985. 0cm

This is the Answer - Joseph Semah

As long as the Western Project continues to insist on displaying a work of art as an object of reading, we must remain aware of and acquainted with the history of Christianity. In this case, whether or not we care to label the Western Project as an endless effort to convert the authentic movement of Christianity into a contemporary philosophy, the reading of artworks in the public space remains a dimming veil of distance culture. In any case, it is evident that for artists who take part in the Western Project, there is no such thing as a profane object. That is to say, all artworks on display in public spaces are always ritualistic and forever linked to a certain found 'sacred' text; an arbitrary and therefore a replaceable found text. 

At this point, it is also worth observing that each and every work of art on display in the public space is both a necessity and an impossibility, a simultaneous presence of the readable and of the veiled. 

There should be no doubt that it is the veil that produces that enchantment of distance and it is clearly the Western Project's dependence on the perpetual production of art objects. Above all it explains the artist's obsession with political issues. It has therefore become the artist's convention, to veil that which is already veiled. This must be kept in mind, for this has become our moral dilemma when we come to speak about reading in public spaces. After all, reading is a part of our fascination with the artist's promise to obscure the connecting structures between contemporary philosophy and Christian theology. Although it is the artist's promise that brings us Back to Back with the de-christianizing of the Western Project, there is an endless resultant confusion as to how one should prioritize Christian theology and contemporary philosophy. And in the background, we can still see the Guest's insoluble dilemma. On one hand he is forced to be silent on his idiosyncratic reading, while at the same time he makes use of Christian strategy in order to be seen without being revealed. 

The Guest within ourselves is first and foremost an artist in words, because words are the means by which he has learned to veil his name, to hide his doubt, to approximate the value of his fear by criticizing in public his very desire to join the Western Project. To begin with, this nostalgia for a lost paradise haunts the Guest and continues to throughout his active, exilic life. 

Curriculum Vitae

Joseph Semah (24.02.1948) was born in Baghdad, Iraq. From 1950 he grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. After finishing gymnasium, Semah studied at the University of Tel Aviv. At the same time he was developing his artistic venue.

Joseph Semah's grandfather, Hacham/Rabbi Sassoon Kadoori was the president of the Jewish community in Baghdad, who preached tolerance between the various religious denominations.

Semah’s work is best described as a profound and wide-ranging exploration of the links between language and a man made images. A scholar of many classical texts, he creates his own conceptual and pictorial world as part of his quest, placing human beings at the centre of this world. Semah seeks to understand people in the present day, in relation to communities with their own culture and history. His works stands in a long tradition of liberal humanistic thinking reaching from Baruch de Spinoza to the Frankfurter Schule.

In Semah's own words: 'I still read each and every art work on display through the tradition/history of the Hebrew language. In this context, one can say that each art work of mine is nothing but a footnote to my research, to my desire to understand what contemporary art actually means, what is meant by tolerance, what the meaning of being in exile is and what it means to be a guest.'

In an entirely individual way, Semah shows how the Hebrew's language and thus its tradition and its culture, influenced (in) directly, artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Barnett Newman and El Lissitzky. The result of his quest through the written words and images assume tangible form in his art. Semah knows how to make visible and palpable what cannot be named, producing images that can be read on different levels. For Semah, the ultimate meaning of an artwork depends on the intensive process of ‘reading’. He navigates superbly between conceptual art, minimal art and poetic expression. Through the compassionate nature of his art production, the social and narrative contexts are always tangible. Recently at Gemak in The Hague, Semah has shown works which are inspired by the legendary meeting of Martin Heidegger and Paul Celan. A meeting between a philosopher that never took a stance against the Nazi regime and a Jewish poet that survived the Holocaust. What they talked about was not recorded and inspired Semah to multiple impressive sculptures, large installations of drawings and paintings and a performance.

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Monday to Fridays 11:00 - 17:00
To schedule an appointment, contact us.

Address
5. Galamb Street
1052 Budapest Hungary 

Monday to Fridays 11:00 - 17:00
To schedule an appointment, contact us.

Address
5. Galamb Street
1052-Budapest Hungary 

Monday to Fridays 11:00 - 17:00
To schedule an appointment, contact us.


Address
5. Galamb Street
1052-Budapest
Hungary 

Mobile

Mobile

+36 304357443
+36 304566920


+36 304357443
+36 304566920

+36 304357443
+36 304566920

Email

Email

lenaroselligallery@gmail.com

lena@lenaroselligallery.com

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