Naama Arad’s ‘Har Hazofim’ quotes the view from the window of the fictional Frank Lloyd Wright creation from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘North by Northwest.’ A peach-toned silken curtain intervenes between our gaze and the Xerox copies pasted to the opposite wall on which landscapes can be seen. The paternalistic presidential visages of Mount Rushmore and the modernist architecture both see their material and ideological texture inverted in the most tender of feminist veilings. The title of the work refers to the mountain of the same name, and Israeli enclave in East Jerusalem that houses the Bezalel Academy of Art founded in 1906.
On this monumental photograph secreted on an MDF-Plate we see an enlarged, dripping, latex glove like the ones deployed to protect the hands from chemicals in a photo-lab. The title situates the work in the tradition of labor photography as well as within the discourses of visual cultural studies and their critique of identity. The photograph projects the iconic quality of the worker’s raised fist onto the glove itself, which separates what is to be protected from any given body. At the same time, ‘Working Class Hero’ is no less combative, and does not fall back on the rhetoric of exclusive masculinity.