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Upcoming Events

Contagious Truths

HBI Artist Program with Tamar Nissim

March 10th-July 8th, 2022

Kniznick Gallery, Women's Studies Research Center, Epstein Building at Brandeis University

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute is proud to present Contagious Truths, a solo exhibition by Israeli artist Tamar Nissim.

Tamar Nissim’s videos, photographs, and installations explore how Western hygiene methods were interwoven with nationalist ideology to control women in mid-20th-century Israel. Nissim’s videos draw from personal interviews, archival research, and testimonies to trace the effects of these policies on women’s bodies and lives: Mizrahi immigrants who complied to prove themselves civilized; nurses who enforced strict hygiene protocols; mothers whose babies were taken away in what has come to be known as the Yemenite, Mizrahi, and Balkan Children Affair.

Glass bottles, bars of olive oil soap, and photographs of cleaning products extend the context of the videos, offering windows into these women’s environments. Pairing audio of herself and her mother with footage of her daughter, Nissim forms an intergenerational portrait. Unflinchingly, she confronts the legacy of trauma, how it remains in the body, and its possible ends.

Co-sponsor: The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies.

Watch the opening artist talk