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Joseph Semah (1948)

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Joseph Semah is an israel/dutch artist who has been working the main part of his artistic life in the Netherlands. His works can be found in the Stedelijk Museum collection.

Artist Joseph Sassoon Semah was born in Baghdad (Iraq), where his grandfather Hacham Sassoon Kadoori (1885-1971) was the President of the Babylonian Jewish community. With his parents Joseph Semah was ’displaced’ to the State of Israel in 1950. In the mid-1970s Semah decided to leave Israel, describing this as a form of self-imposed exile. He lived and worked in London, Berlin and Paris. Since 1981 he has resided in Amsterdam. He regards himself as a ‘guest’ in the Western (art) world.

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Reading into works of art using his native-language Hebrew as the framework, Semah signals a lack of knowledge about Judaism. He believes Jewish layers of meaning are not given enough attention in art history and feels compelled to rectify this: to fill the ‘empty page’. His extensive oeuvre consists of drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, performances and texts.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Semah titles available

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