Miss Liberty: A Monumental Mosaic (An art collective of Jewish and Arab youth in Israel)
David Wakstein + The Four Stations
May 5 – 18, 2005
White Box is pleased to present Miss Liberty, a monumental mosaic (approx.1600 ft) made of thousands of small hand-cut pieces of Jerusalem stone, created especially for White Box’s floor by 120 students from the Four Art Stations located in Ofakim, Ramle, Nazareth and Rishon-leZion led by Israeli artist David Wakstein. Four Art Education Stations established in 1997 are a forum where students, tutors and artists collaborate in jointly created art works. It is an initiative that offers an alternative to both Arab and Jewish youth. The Four Stations provide an opportunity for kids born in Israel, and from the opposite extreme of Jewish and Arab families, to meet and communicate safely and creatively in the midst of disparities and ongoing conflicts. The Miss Liberty mosaic created for White Box is based on a British cartoon from a 1940 Punch magazine, the year before the US entered the war, following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The cartoon alludes to America’s reluctance to get involved in World War II. It features the Statue of Liberty riding a turbulent ocean. Instead of the torch, this Miss Liberty brandishes a sword with the word “conscription” while it tries to keep course on a polygon-shaped pedestal that simulates the Star of David. Mr. Wakstein¹s project moves away from despair and violence by providing creative solutions for Israel’s youth that project a possible shared future. His and the Four Stations strategy is to use existing imagery, such as caricatures and illustrations, to transform meaning and message, much like the media and publishing world have shaped or manipulated our responses in subliminal and direct ways. Miss Liberty has here, in its New York visit, come to address the worldwide paradoxes of liberty today. White Box¹s exhibition program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council for the Arts.