Harei at muteret / Released

This work was first shown in Jewish Artists on the Edge curated by Ori Z. Soltes, a group exhibition held at the College of Sante Fe, New Mexico organized by The Jewish Community Council of Northern New Mexico.

This particular photographic installation is comprised of ten black and white photographic reproductions in units of variable sizes (with the average being approximately 20" x 16" x 5") and approximately eight dozen wine goblets.

Photography credit: Devora Neumark

Each photographic unit contains a black and white photographic reproduction of a painting or print whose subject matter is the Jewish wedding ceremony. On the top of each photographic unit rests a single wine goblet. Seven of the units have a wine goblet with engraved Hebrew text and the remaining three units have un-engraved goblets. The etched words read Harei at muteret (Herein, now, and with this you are permitted) which is part of the phrase uttered by the man to the woman in the Jewish divorce process. The full phrase can be translated as "Herein, now and with this you are permitted to any man." All the remaining wine goblets are arranged in a shallow semi-circle emerging out of the wall centred directly under the photographic units with the goblets piled up one on top of the other.

In choosing to reference only the first portion of this phrase, permission is granted to the woman, any woman, full stop. As with this text, each of the elements in this work has some reference to the Jewish wedding ritual. Working through and with these references, and in the undoing of this ritual, the stark realization of Jewish divorce appears.

The images appearing within the units are, in chronological order

Title: Initial Word Panel Illumination Showing a Marriage Ceremony
Artist: unknown (from the Hamburg Halakhah Miscellany)
Country: Padua
Year: 1476 - 1477
Medium: Painting on vellum
Title: Wedding
Artist: unknown (from Minhagim)
Country: Italy: Venice
Year: 1601
Medium: Woodcut
Title: The Jewish Bride
Artist: Rembrandt
Country: Holland
Year: c. 1662
Medium: Painting
Title: Jewish Bride
Artist: Boener
Country: Germany: Fürth
Year: 1705
Medium: Engraving
Title: Wedding of Ashkenazi Jews
Artist: Bernard Picart
Country: unclear
Year: 1712
Medium: Engraving
Title: A Wedding
Artist: Schudt
Country: Germany: Frankfurt
Year: 1714-8
Medium: Engraving
Title: Wedding Procession
Artist: unclear
Country: Germany: Fürth
Year: 1734
Medium: Engraving
Title: Jewish Wedding
Artist: unknown
Country: Bohemia
Year: c. 1750
Medium: Detail from painting
Title: Jewish Marriage
Artist: Van Lennep
Country: Turkey
Year: 1862
Medium: Lithograph
Title: Wedding
Artist: M.D. Oppenheim
Country: Germany: Frankfurt
Year: 1866-9
Medium: Painting