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Placing Memory

June 29 – July 28, 2018, 3:30pm - 7:00pm, LES Gallery


Gal Cohen and Zac Hacmon

Curated by Wai Ying Zhao

June 29 – July 28, 2018 / Opening reception: Friday, June 29, 6-9 PM

The exhibition ‘Placing Memory’ showcases the relations bounded by architecture and collective memory through the collaboration between two Israeli born artists, Zac Hacmon and Gal Cohen. The artists link between demolished architecture in Israel due to gentrification processes, to institutional architecture in New York. The ongoing dialog between the two artists takes a site specific shift and develops to new levels of visual and conceptual conversation. Started on the 23rd floor of a Times Square skyscraper building as part of SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018, their collaboration continues in The LES Gallery at the historical building of The Clemente Cultural and Educational Center.

Gal is dealing with the collective memory of houses that no longer exist in her hometown in Israel, Hadera. Based on archival research, she explores the history of demolished houses that shaped her childhood landscape. Due to lack of inclination towards conserving these historical houses, the knowledge of their existence is for most part buried along with their ruins. By detaching the houses from their environment and collaging the houses and their ruins, Gal alternates between fact and memory, archive and canvas, the intentional and accidental.

Zac uses architecture as a mediator and is interested in notions of the non-place: spaces without history or identity. His work operates with the efficiency of a device rather than as a passive object. Using the language of institutional architecture with 4×4 inch tiles and stainless steel grab bars, Zac creates an apparatus of formal and conceptual elements that subvert one another to form a new type of architecture, a non-declared one, with a call for use and yet no clear function. While examining falsified notions of home and citizenship, Zac seeks to generate non-identity through these structures.

An integral part of being an immigrant in NYC is to constantly reflect back on where one came from, as a way of trying to comprehend the enormous gaps of identity, labor and gentrification captured by the different places. While Zac examines his immediate urban environment in NYC through sculpture, Gal’s work resurrect houses that no longer exist in her hometown in Israel through painting and installation. The non place next to the place that no longer exist are in the center of this exhibition.


Zac Hacmon (b.1981 Holon, Israel) is an artist based in New York. He is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship Finalist in Interdisciplinary Art, and is a recipient of the Rita Glasser Fellowship Award, the UJA-Federation of New York’s Rose Biller Endowment Fund Award, Unesco Aschberg Scholarship, and fellowships from Hunter College. Recent exhibits include SPRING/BREAK Art Show (New York, NY), LMAK Gallery (New York, NY), Petach Tikva Museum of Art (Israel), Meet Factory Gallery (Prague, Czech Republic), Artsonje Center (Seoul, South Korea). He has had residencies at the Salem Art Works (Salem, NY), MeetFactory Studio (Czech Republic), MMCA National Art Studio in Seoul (South Korea). Zac received an MFA from Hunter College and a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Israel).


Gal Cohen (b. 1986, Israel) a visual artist based in New York . Her main mediums are painting and installation. Cohen earned her MFA in Fine Arts at Parsons The New School (2018). Graduated from the B.F.A in Fine Arts from Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem (2009), Cohen studied Gender studies in Tel-Aviv University (2014). Cohen participated in group and solo exhibition in Israel, Canada, France and the US. Among the exhibitions she showed in are: SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NY (2018), WetPaint Biennale, Chicago (2018), The Hub – ArtPrize, Michigan (2018), Bleuwolf, NY (2017), The Hub – ArtPrize, Michigan (2017), Hanina Gallery, Tel Aviv (2016), Gabirol, Tel Aviv (2015), Camac Art Center, France (2015), The Artist Project, Toronto (2013). Cohen is the recipient of the “Bluewolf” scholarship in 2017, NY.