Collaborative Work

The process of collaboration is an expansive experience for my creative process. I recommend it to all artists. In these two pieces I collaborated with my husband, John Lavine, who brought extraordinary woodworking skills into the mix. These pieces were made for two of the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s invitational exhibitions. “In Case of Need” was our response to an invitation to make a tzedakah (charity) . We looked at old fire emergency boxes on the street corners in San Francisco for our form, altering the text only slightly to invite viewer interaction. When the glass on our piece is “broken” (in this case with a sliver ladle) the participant is treated to an infinite supply of warm chicken soup—the quintessential Jewish cure-all for all aliments and a healer for the soul. Our intention was to use humor as a bridge for the viewer to consider what it might mean for all of us to really take care of each other, shining a light on the idea that tzedakah is not simply about the giving of money. “Olfactory Diaspora (or nobody move or the nose gets it)” was our response to an invitation to make a spice box traditionally used on Shabbat (Sabbath). The rolling file cabinet is a metaphor for the Jewish Diaspora. The cabinet drawers read mizrahim, sephardim,,ashkenazim, newyahkim and californim and contain the odiferous memories from those regions where Jews have lived.