2022 HBI Artist Exhibition

Tamar Nissim | Contagious Truths

March 10 - July 8, 2022 


brush resting on plate on white tablecloth

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

Tamar Nissim’s videos, photographs, and objects explore how Western hygiene methods were interwoven with nationalist ideology to control women in mid-twentieth-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

Tamar Nissim exhibits her work widely in national and international museums, galleries, and non-profit institutions. Recent exhibitions include Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania; Guimaraes Biennial, Portugal; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Museum Bat Yam, Israel; HaMiskan, Ein Harod; and Indie-Collective Gallery, Israel. Nissim holds a BA with Honors in Textile Design from Shenkar College (Ramat Gan, Israel) and attended the “Advanced Artist Program'' at HaMidrasha School of Art (Beit Berl, Israel) where she earned a Master’s of Education in Art Education. Nissim received an Honorable Mention at the Guimaraes Triennial, Portugal, and is the recipient of four Rabinovich Foundation grants, and a 2019 Ha’Pais Council for the Culture and Arts Grant. Nissim is a member of Indie, The Collective Gallery for Photography, and the recipient of the Israeli Minister of Culture's prize.