JUNE 4 – AUGUST 8, 2021

Un-Charting is a new work that engages the extensive research of artist Tali Keren. Born in Jerusalem and based in Brooklyn, NY, Keren’s practice engages questions around the formation of political ideology at the intersection of personal identity. The video installation at the heart of Un-Charting is narrated by the imagined voice of British naval officer Richard Brothers, who comes to us from the year 1797, welcoming the viewer to discover his prophecy of Jerusalem. Brothers introduces the viewer to his detailed plan for the city of Jerusalem, a place he had never visited but rather created in his imagination. In Un-Charting, Keren weaves together historical narratives with recent interviews to engage with the imperial imaginations plan of the New World, Europe, and the Middle East.

In Un-Charting, Brothers speaks to the viewer through the voice of a teen, and imperial imagination bridges the New World, Europe, and the Middle East. As the visual journey continues the viewer travels across various landscapes, planted by Keren within Brothers’ plan for Jerusalem. Keren captures a contemporary interview of two women who send a group of Christian evangelical teens from the United States to perform in Israel-Palestine for Isreali soldiers while dressed in Israeli military uniform. This story is a lense through which to look at the disproportionate influence of conservative evangelicals who have shaped the United States’ policies in the Middle East and Israel-Palestine for decades. In this new work, Keren shows us the mythical origin of this phenomenon.

Un-Charting is an argument for discursive fantasy at the crossroads of lived reality. This installation excavates the notion of place and the entanglements of historical phenomena within subjective experience. Keren’s Un-Charting is a lens for making connections between intersectional indigenous struggles from the US to Palestine. This work is a platform to reflect on the processes of decolonization within a global framework—while unpacking the real life consequences for how one understands legacies of landscape.

Tali Keren is a media artist and educator based in New York. Her performances, videos, and installations focus on the formation of ideology and political identity. Keren’s recent solo exhibitions include The Great Seal at Eyebeam, New York and at the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; and Heat Signature at Ludlow 38, MINI Goethe Institute, New York. Keren received her BFA in 2009 from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem and earned an MFA from Columbia University, in New York, in 2016. She was an artist in residence at ISCP, NARS foundation, and BRICworkspace, New York.

Un-Charting is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Un-Charting is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Artis.

Tali Keren, Un-Charting, 2021. HD video, still. Courtesy of the artist.



THU, JUN 10, 2021, 6PM
ONLINE: mocadetroit.org/live

Please join us for a live screening of the new work by artist Tali Keren, Un-Charting. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the artist and Jova Lynne, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator.