Sharon Keren and Gabi Klasmer, Demonstrations and Ceremonies, 1973-1976 + Artists Demonstration in Hebron, 1979

In the early 1970s, Sharon Keren and Gabi Klasmer created a series of actions entitled “Gabi and Sharon”. The series included the “Medal of Courage and Medal of Valor Ceremony” in 1973, when they showed up at the national ceremony swathed in bandages and decked out in military medals reminiscent of the famous photograph featuring Ariel Sharon with a bandage around his head.[1] In another action, also in 1973, they organized a civil parade in Jerusalem, from Ben Yehuda Street to Zion Square, a few days before the Independence Day military parade which was due to be held in the same location. The artists and their partners in the action marched carrying banners depicting military shooting targets in human form. The parade was dispersed by the police, and the artists were arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer. After the 1973 War, which broke out the a few months later, the charges were dropped due to lack of interest to the public.

In April 1974, Gabi and Sharon organized “A Meal for Withdrawal” opposite the Prime Minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. The well-attended meal was held in close proximity to hunger strikers demonstrating in favor of the Jewish settlements. In another event, which was held at the Israel Museum in 1976, Keren gave a lesson in the course of which he taught the audience how to make explosive devices in accordance with a Che Guevara booklet.

In another event, journalistic documentation of which is presented here, Dov Or Ner, Avital Geva, Igael Tumarkin, Moshe Gershuni, and other artists demonstrated in front of the Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron. Geva brought to the action two calf heads from the abattoir at Kibbutz Ein Shemer, painted them gold, tied them to the roof of the kibbutz transit van, and drove to Hebron; Or Ner imprisoned himself in a cage.

[1]  On the connection to the image of Sharon see Galia Yahav, Exorcising a Dybbuk: Israeli Art’s Ongoing Fascination with Ariel Sharon, Haaretz, 14.01.2014.