Ezrat Nashim: Installation by Miriam Stern
Selz Foundation Gallery
This site-specific installation is a multimedia artwork that deals with a sense of separateness, prayer, and spiritual community-the issues symbolized by the mechitzah (partition) that sets apart the Ezrat Nashim, the women's area in a traditional Jewish synagogue. Its creator, painter and printmaker Miriam Stern, often focuses on women's issues as they relate to the Jewish tradition and Midrashic texts.
Ten freestanding, larger than life-size painted silhouettes of specific women comprise a "minyan," placed strategically within the gallery to reflect the often narrow confines of the women's section. Starting with the premise that prayer is both a collective and individual experience, Stern tries to capture the tension between one's desire to be part of a community while at the same time maintaining one's unique identity. The sound of prayers will be heard throughout the environment as the women chant the Hallel service.