Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Sota Project

Sota Project’: Sealed With a Kiss

by Jonathan Maseng, Contributing Writer []

The Talmud is on display this month at the USC Fisher Museum of Art, but if you’re expecting a dry examination of rabbinic law and ethics, you’ve come to the wrong place. Ofri Cnaani’s “The Sota Project” offers a daring and even graphic take on Jewish views of adultery, sexuality and sisterhood through a little-known but fascinating piece of talmudic text.

Sitting in a conference room at the Fisher Museum’s offices, Cnaani was excited to discuss “The Sota Project,” though a little disappointed to hear she’d missed out on Los Angeles’ long-running heat wave. Born in Israel in 1975, Cnaani immigrated to the United States a decade ago to study art at New York’s Hunter College MFA program, and though she apparently misses the warm Israeli summers, she’s found great success in the States and in the New York art world, where her work has been on display at prestigious places like MOMA’s PS1 and the Andrea Meislin Gallery. Her exhibition at the Fisher Museum marks her Los Angeles debut, and she seems particularly excited to be showing a piece like “The Sota Project,” which is so close to her heart.

The kiss is a kiss of death.