Chapter 15 Disrupting Holy Binaries: the Work of Gil and Rona Yefman

In: Imagined Israel(s): Representations of the Jewish State in the Arts
Yarden Stern
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This chapter interrogates the religious entanglements of Rona and Gil Yefman’s art practices, focusing on the ways in which popular religious myths and historically freighted Jewish terms and rituals become the vehicle through which to transform familial relations and sibling belonging. The chapter juxtaposes artwork in which Rona articulates her perspective on Gil’s experience of transition against Gil’s experiments with the gendered multiplicities encoded within the experience of making and viewing. Putting Sigmund Freud, Juliet Mitchell, and Jean Vaccaro in dialogue with the siblings’ work, this chapter traces these art practices’ uncanny and felt resonances, arguing that the Yefmans estrange conventional understandings of familial distinction and intimacy in search of a different ethics of reciprocity through an embrace of ambiguity.

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