Shmita Mitah

Ken Goldman

About Ken Goldman

Ken goldman artist statementKen Goldman has been mining religious sources as inspiration for creating art with timeless universal themes for over two decades. Subjects of personal and public nature such as faith, gender, community, otherness and mortality are but some of the issues he has engaged in his art.The pursuit of these subjects and the search for the best way to express them has inspired Goldman to experiment with a wide variety of media and techniques. It is not unusual to find the artist working on his performance pieces, creating 3-D prints and video, and seemingly effortlessly returning to more classic techniques of wood-cut, stone carving or drawing a he strives to combine the most fitting technique or media with his subject matter.The artist’s use of irony and humor and what may seem, as an almost irreverent attitude towards religious tradition does not in any way overshadow the underlying serious nature of his work. They often work as foils to highlight the major issues being investigated. Goldman uses this approach to connect immediately with the viewer and open a door inviting the viewer to form a deeper connection with the artist’s work.

About Shmita Mitah

Shmitah MitahDespite this project having been performed several years ago on an earlier Shmitah year I look back on this project as one of my favorites and certainly most memorable and relevant today as it was when I first performed it.Paradoxically, here on my religious Kibbutz farming community, Shmita year comes and goes without much fanfare. Only a select few are involved with the Halachot / laws, limitations, and Rabbinic loopholes used to make living and surviving in a Jewish, modern orthodox, farming community possible. After passing through my first Shmita year on kibbutz I vowed to myself that when the opportunity would arise on a following Shmita year I would try to draw attention to the year and challenge the community to take note of the special status and meaning of the year.This project “Shmita Mitah” was a performance piece where I dragged and wheeled, a large bed /rickshaw sculpture around the different fields surrounding my kibbutz. After finding the perfect spot I would then climb to the top and spend the night sleeping on the sculpture. The elevated sculpture was to both provide me a safe perch above the animals and reptiles living and foraging below, provided a unique viewing platform in the otherwise flat topography of our fields, and helped to stand out as landmark in the landscape as well.