Mistress of the Desert
Gaston Zvi Ickowicz
In collaboration with
16.2.23 - 26.3.23
Mistress of the Desert is a joint exhibition of the artists Anna Perach (b.1985, lives and works in London) and Gaston Zvi Ickowicz (b. 1974, lives and works in Jerusalem). Perach immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union in 1992; Ickowicz immigrated from Argentina in 1980. Both artists grew up in the southern city of Beersheba where their families still live, and the Negev – directly and indirectly – is
a meaningful notion in their works. The concept for the exhibition emerged from the rock petroglyphs that are found in Mount Hanegev, Mount Mihya, Jebel Irqab Isdud, and Ramat Matred. The petroglyphs are paintings that were engraved in limestone
over thousands of years. They depict images of animals, hunters and ambiguous ceremonies that date back to the Nabataean period, the Roman period, and the Early Bedouin phase. It is estimated that some 500,000 rock petroglyphs are scattered in several locations in the Negev. The identity of the engravers is unknown, as is their reasons for creating
The site of the rock petroglyphs, to which Perach was introduced by Ickowicz, led her to explore the link between personal and local mythology, specifically family history, experiences of immigration, and her adolescence in the desert.
Anna Perach earned a BFA in Fine Art from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (2008) and an MFA in Fine Art (with distinction) from Goldsmiths University of London (2020). She has mounted solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Israel and abroad, including Edel Assanti Gallery in London (2022); Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (2021); and ADA Gallery in Rome (2021).
Gaston Zvi Ickowicz completed his photography studies (with distinction) at Musrara School of Art and Society, Jerusalem (2000) and Advanced Art
Studies at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem (2009). His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Israel and abroad, including Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (2018); CCA Tel Aviv (2016); Hezi Cohen Gallery (2015); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2011); MACRO, Rome (2013); and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Graphic Design: Avihai Mizrahi
Documentation: Lena Gomon
Text editor: Orna Yehudaioff
English translation: Sivan Raveh
Mounting: Boris kravitz and Valery Bolotin
Choreography: Nitzan Lederman
Performers: Aviv Horovitz and Mor Gur Arie
Sound: Yifeat Ziv
The performance was supported by Asylum Arts Network.
Special thanks to Leah Abir, Artistic Director of Arad Contemporary Art Center.