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The Living Room

Curated by Smadar Keren

Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum, Ashdot Ya'akov, Israel



The Living Room

Smadar Keren

Ghostly memories and currents of anxiety about the future have repeatedly led Netai Halup to the road connecting Tel Aviv and Beit She'an over the past year. A year ago, he was told that his grandmother's house – where his mother grew up and which had been a significant part of his childhood – was about to be sold and torn down. A moment before he loses his grip on it, Halup has decided to return to the house and spend some time in it. The extended stay in the empty house has flooded him with memories of the shared family space – flashes that created a "choreography" of moments and events that had taken place in the house's living room. He outlined these moments on the floor as the echoes of memory paths seeking to be realized again and cast the marked tiles in concrete mixed with pigment. These cast slabs became the foundation for the new work.

The Living Room by Halup is a sculptural installation where traces of the past come together into a new story. The installation is an array of sculptural objects cast in concrete and other materials, positioned in two consecutive spaces. In the first, geometrical tiled planks of varying heights stand on bases made of a mixture of sugar, tea, and milk, with interlaced white fossil-like objects. Here and there, a fragile monument stands out, dazzling in its loneliness. In the second space, a kind of ghostly theater of bodies and crates with exposed guts, made of crushed concrete, supporting and interweaving with one another – shoulder to shoulder and body within body. The sculptures are the products of material interventions Halup has performed on remnants of objects and structural parts of the vacant family house: cassette tapes, bedsheets, windows and window frames, tiles and nails, cupboards and shutters – each becoming for him a monument to a lost memory whose traces must be captured in matter. Halup's sculptural technique includes creating a form for each object and pouring concrete into the empty space around it in a manner that captures its shape, like a death mask. In some instances, the form exceeds the dimensions of the object, elongating it like another extension of its body. Sometimes, just before pouring the concrete, as a talisman based on superstition, the object is bathed or submerged in an organic liquid (lemon or pomegranate juice) in a way that disrupts its hardening.

The spirit of Halup's sculptures is revealed through their fragility. Like the intensity of silence that remains on a stage at the end of a musical piece, so do the echoes of memory rise through the gaps, in the peepholes and the interior of the forms – in the quiet of the 'horizon' or the contour revealed by the end of the sculpture. What remains of the family home that Halup attempts to hold on to by the force of memory? "Memory is never home," it has been written, "and neither is the story. The storyteller does not reconstruct the traces but their fragility. He does not presume to report accurately but to perform a tightrope act, which might indeed be helped by memory`s testimonies but will also work with the current state of affairs." This may be why Halup has ended the accompanying collection of stories written for his previous exhibition with a note about his grandfather, the storyteller: “As time goes by, I can hardly remember most of his tales; as do my stories — they alter with him — from truth into fiction."

Installation View - Beit Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum

All Photograph taken by Daniel Hanoch


The Living Room

Concrete‭, ‬pigments‭, ‬sugar, tea, milk

Variable dimentions



Installation View​ 


Anonymous Passages

concrete, pigment, doorframe remnants

115x62.5x11.5 cm (right) 72x23.5x11.5 cm (left)



Motherland [grey slab]

The Living Room [green slabs]

Belongs to Anwar Mizrahi [white blocks]


Belongs To Anwar Mizrahi 1.5

Concrete, VHS cassettes remnants

16x22x42 cm


DSC_0025 copy-2.jpg


Concrete, pigment, iron rods, pomegranate juice, sugar, doorframe remnants

68.5x81x11 cm



Still Life Without a Watermelon

concrete, pigment, Watemelon remnants 

Variable dimentions


NetaiHalup_Nehushtan_DanielHanochPhotographerhotographer-38 (2).jpg


concrete, pigment, iron rods, pillowcases, window blinds remnants 

123x193x45 cm



Installation View​ 

Beit Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum


Better Left Untold (Anwar Mizrahi, a Family Film)

Concrete, iron rods, window shutter remnants VHS cassette remnants

74x213.5x74 cm



Better Left Untold (Anwar Mizrahi, a Family Film) [details]

Concrete, iron rods, window shutter remnants, VHS cassettes remnants

77.5x4.5x78 cm (shutters)



Installation View​ 

Beit Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum

NetaiHalup_Nehushtan_DanielHanochPhotographerhotographer-57 )2(.jpg

Better Left Untold 1.1 [details]

concrete, pigment, iron rods, window remnants

Variable dimentions



Hide and Seek

concrete, pigments, salt, doorframe remnants

Variable dimentions



Hide and Seek [left]

Better Left Untold (Anwar Mizrahi, a Family Film) [right]

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