Tamy Ben-Tor and Miki Carmi at CICCIO

Artists: Tamy Ben-Tor, Miki Carmi 

Exhibition title: Hans

Venue: CICCIO, New York, US

Date: March 6 – 29, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and CICCIO, New York

In the beginning there was
a mother and her two sons.
Her first born was named Izaak,
because she laughed at his round face and his hooked nose.
The young one was named Ishmael,
for he heard her laughter and cried. She pitied him. He who pities the cruel shall end up being cruel
to the pitiful.
When the first born became
thirteen the angel of death came to her. Which one will you give me?
Take the one who turns away
from me to see the sun setting in its beauty. If that is Ishmael, then take Izaak. The funny one should
learn to cry.
And so he took Izaak and planted
him in his garden among pillars of fire and smoke.
And Izaak rose from the pillars
of smoke. Flesh and blood he rose. And became an important man.
Angrily he scolded the angel
of death;
You have uprooted me from
my homeland from my mother and brother.
T’was god’s will, said the
angel of death.
I know no god but you, said
The angel of death took a
liking to Izaak, he called him “My Son” and sent him off to be his messenger on earth.

Izaak dressed as a poor man.
He wore an old coat. He pretended to be a beggar.
But his pockets were full.
He knocked on his mother’s
Have mercy good woman. Take
me into your home and bosom.
He danced before her, she
heard the coins clinking in his pockets. She cried with joy for he resembled her long lost son.
She took him in and called
him “my little pig”.
Because his filthy garments
made her laugh.
Forty years they lived happily
from his pocket.
He would throw a coin on her
bed every night, she woke up and thought it was god himself repaying her for her righteousness and
hospitality with gold coins.
And she loved her little pig
for the riches he brought her and for his nightly wild dances which made her laugh.

Forty years went by
The mother woke up one morning
and found no golden coin on her bed. So she screamed and she hollered:
It is an outrage that I should
be hosting and feeding a perfect stranger for forty years out of the kindness of my heart and the
broadness of my mind and I am not repaid. And no one acknowledges my good deeds. And no one
rewards me. And no one sends me flowers.
And my name isn’t mentioned
in any books. I am a talented woman. I could have made something of myself if I was not tied to
this man’s pocket.

Ishmael the brother took a
knife and came to stab Izaak, but the angel of death flipped the knife so that Ishmael would stab his
own eyes. And so Ishmael became blind and a self righteous poet.

And the little pig said:
So shall be done to the man
who cried at my mother’s laughter. It is I who laugh now at the sound of his weeping.
And to his mother he said:
Now take off your clothes
and dance before us. It is my turn to laugh.
You who abandoned your son
shall now abandon your pride, and you shall be before me as Izaak was before his mother.
He took off his old garments
and said:
I am Izaak, the long lost
son. Victimized by his mother and brother.
I shall now have my revenge.
I shall live among you, lay
in your bed, dine at your table. and you will know that I am different. From another world. And
filthy. I will not bathe , I will not disguise myself and you shall endure my stench and my existence.
You shall marry your offspring
to mine, your daughters to my sons till my blood assimilates with yours and they become one.
Amen they said. For it was
the angel of death who spoke, and they knew that very well.
New generations came and knew
nothing. And cared about nothing. Words flew in and out of their minds and they saw nothing but
scattered shapes and signs.
They became talkers and liars
and the land was chaos.