Oy Bay reports about a group of artists that calls itself the Zionist 5.
Himmelberger Gallery, a well-known art gallery located in San Francisco’s tony Union Square, has decided to cancel plans to publish an art catalogue of one of its represented artists, noted author Alan Kaufman, who is under contract to the gallery. The decision is due to use of the word Zionism in the catalogue’s title ‘Visionary Expressionism: A Zionist Art.” Kaufman said in response:
For myself, I want to say that to see oneself and ones colleagues censored for expression of a Zionist perspective is one of the most shocking experiences I’ve ever had as an artist, or writer. But what made it especially hard was to see my fellow writers, David Twersky, David Rosenberg, Etgar Keret, Polly Zavadivker, also censored. It was then that I understood that this was not merely censorship of me: this was censorship of an entire community, of my people, the Jewish People; of my colleagues, my fellow writers and artists. This drove home to me like nothing else that I must never accept such censorship from anyone, under any circumstances. I must stand up proudly as a Zionist and express myself freely, without shame or reservation.
The gallery objects to the expressly Zionist focus of several essay contributions to the catalogue by well-known authors and journalists, including David Twersky, contributing editor of the New York Sun and senior adviser, International Affairs for American Jewish Congress; noted scholar David Rosenberg, author (with Harold Bloom) of The Book of J and most recently of Abraham: The First Historical Biography; Etgar Keret, widely acknowledged as Israel’s most popular young writer, and whose books include The Nimrod Flip-Out and The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be G-d ; and Polly Zavadivker, a young scholar completing graduate studies in Hebrew and Judaics at New York University and currently working as a grants officer at the Jewish Federation in Oakland, California. Kaufman, whose critically acclaimed books include the memoir Jew Boy and the novel Matches has an essay and an interview, conducted by Zavadivker, in the catalogue.