Barstow Artist-in-Residence Tzur shares her intermedia artwork


Barstow Artist-in-Residence Merav Tzur speaks to students and faculty about the inspiration for her work on Sept. 17 in Wightman Hall Room 142.

Merav Tzur is an Israeli artist who focuses on the subject of her project and chooses her medium based on what fits it best. 

Tzur, the 2018 Barstow Artist-in-Residence, spoke about her experience working with different media on Sept. 17 in Wightman Hall Room 142.

“I’m really interested in how we as humans create narratives and how important those narratives are for us,” Tzur said. “Most of my work is really looking at the different platforms we use to create our personal, social, and historical narratives.”

Tzur generally uses photography and video to capture and tell stories. Instead of specializing in a specific artistic medium, Tzur uses several to tell her narratives.

“I appreciate that she isn’t trapped in a single medium,," Gladwin senior Tenley Good said.  Tzur uses not only digital media, but physical media as well.

She said the phrases she uses in her work are the narratives others, manipulated to fit her own piece.

“We can actually believe in communism one day and then the next day we are able to believe in something completely different," Tzur said,  "we are able to change our narratives all of the time."

Tzur’s pieces capture different beliefs humans have and the narratives they tell. 

“She is really interesting and has amazing ideas about how the world works and the society we live in," Midland senior Emily Swierzbin said.  "It is really interesting that she is exploring those ideas." 

Tzur's video project, “What is Behind That Curtain?” features a guarded curtain. People are told they can only look behind it if they go through a lengthy security check. The security measures are much like the ones in airports, except with overly kind guards. 

“Reenactments of Reenactments of Happy Woman” is a photo piece where Tzur searched "happy women" online and reenacted the stock images that came up.

Tzur's continuous “The Lower Bottom Anthology” is a series of videos built on Dante’s Inferno, uncovering our own contemporary hell. So far, the series includes “Returning to the 7th Circle of the Lower Bottom (Circle of Ego)” and “No Admittance”, which is on display in the West Gallery of the University Art Gallery until Oct. 6.

While at Central Michigan University, Tzur is working on a video piece “Ship of Fools” and a photography compilation “Wild Women in the Woods," which is inspired by folklore and mythology. 

Tzur said she plans on having CMU students help with her pieces she creates during her time as the Barstow Artist-in-Residence. Students have the opportunity to talk to and work with Tzur so they can gain a deeper understanding of the artistic practice.  

As the Barstow Artist-in-Residence, Tzur receives a private studio, residence 15 miles from Mount Pleasant in the Barstow house, a stipend, and university art resources for the semester. 

“Every morning at 6:30, I go downstairs and I open all the windows in the Barstow house, and I just drink my coffee and look at the river and just think I am the luckiest woman in the world,” she said.