Dwelling in a Time of Plagues is a Jewish creative response to real-world plagues of our time. Collectively, the commissions in this constellation of art projects around North America grapple with contemporary crises: the global pandemic, institutional racism, xenophobia, ageism, forced isolation, and the climate crisis.
PLAGUES & LIBERATION
Coinciding with the holiday of Passover, during which we remember the 10 Plagues visited upon the Egyptians, the works for “Dwelling in a Time of Plagues” reinterpret the themes of Passover in response to our times and our unique partners. New works generated by Jewish artists and creatives include outdoor sculptures, murals, essays, audio pieces, videos, and digital art experiences online. Each piece responds to its medium and host community specifically, and to our collective plight as Jews and as human beings.
We invite you to dwell with us in these physical and virtual pieces for our times. Learn more about the responses to plagues from across North America.
TORONTO – PLAGUE OF BINARY THINKING
VISUAL RESPONSE: BAREKET KEZWER
JEWISH STREET ART FESTIVAL PASSOVER 2021 – CONTEMPORARY PLAGUES
JEWISH STREET ART (TORONTO)
Opening March 26, 2021
Jewish Street Art Festival Passover 2021 – Contemporary Plagues is produced by Asylum Arts and Hillel Smith, in collaboration with LABA. Murals have been created in New York City, Charlotte and Toronto. In Toronto, Bareket Kezwer’s mural at the Miles Nadal JCC engages with the plague of binary thinking, and is in partnership with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Mike Wirth’s mural in Charlotte at the Queens University of Charlotte in partnership with the Greenspon Center/Jewish Studies, makes visible the plague of housing insecurity. Hillel Smith’s paired murals in New York City, at the JCC Harlem and Repair the World NYC, engage with food insecurity. Maya Ciarrocchi’s mural at the 14th St Y in New York explores the plague of grief and loss.
Bareket Kezwer’s Both& inspires us to consider the plague of binary thinking. Passover is a holiday celebrating the duality of freedom and slavery, a time when we intentionally hold the paradox of life—the inseparability and interdependence of seemingly contradictory phenomena. Holding this paradox is not only part of fulfilling the mitzvah of retelling the story of our exodus from Egypt into the land of Israel, but also a lesson that can support us embracing the wholeness of life—especially as we navigate the uncertainty of this global pandemic. Slavery and freedom. Connection and alienation. Division and solidarity. Struggle and growth. Beauty and ugliness. Pleasure and pain. Simcha and sorrow. Recognizing that we cannot have one without the other, Bareket’s mural invites viewers to explore how we can create space and acceptance by shifting our perspective.
Bareket Kezwer is a Toronto-based muralist, community art facilitator, curator, producer, and eternal optimist. Her work is motivated by a desire to spread joy, cultivate gratitude, and foster new social interactions. Using aerosol and acrylic paint as well as digital design, she works with bright colors and bold patterns to captivate people’s attention and fill them with delight. She is passionate about creating art that both aesthetically and psychologically brightens the streets.
Her belief that public art is a powerful tool for building community drives her practice. She is the founder and creative director of Women Paint, an annual street art event that has produced 80 murals celebrating the strength and diversity of women and non-binary artists and community members.
Over the last seven years, she has created custom large-scale artworks for clients including The New Yorker, Tourism Canada, the City of Toronto, the City of Mississauga, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto, Facebook, and Airbnb.
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, Canvas, Asylum Arts, CJM, LABA, Jewish Book Council, Reboot
Public art – view anytime
750 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 2J2