Bats of Our Childhood, 2016, Max Epstein - Eretz Israel Museum

Bats of Our Childhood, 2016, Max Epstein

Photo: Hadar Saifan


Moose horn, fabric, fishing hooks, mixed media


Max Epstein, b. 1974


“This work is an ironic metaphor describing Russian culture and education based on four small sculptures of Russian and Soviet figures: Pushkin, Gorky, Glinka and Lenin. These four figures influenced education and culture in the Soviet Union, and are related to my childhood and family. As a poet, Pushkin enhanced the freedom of expression in Russian. Gorky, a Soviet writer, was present each time I looked at the sign bearing the name of my childhood street. Glinka is a 19th-century Russian composer, and the music school I attended was named after him. And Lenin was present just about everywhere – at school, in cultural centers and at movie theaters.

The portraits of these four figures stood on the bookshelves in my grandfather’s home. I always wanted to play with them, but it was forbidden for me to touch them. Following my grandfather’s death, in Jerusalem, my family wanted to throw them out, but I took them home, fulfilling my childhood desire to play with them and transforming them into the bats that once pursued me.”

This work is part of a long-term project centered on Russian-speaking Jerusalemite mythologies – for which I collected abandoned belongings, transforming them into metaphorical objects.”


On display at the Migdal Gallery, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.