A ritualistic-artistic-musical homage to Moshe Dayan’s Temple of the Eye
With: Dov Elbaum, Lior Dayan, Oren Fischer, Gon Ben Ari, Yael Abecassis, Lawyer Barak Cohen and Zulat Choir
In 1974, a group of artists led by Shmuel Fischer founded the Temple of the Eye in the south of Israel – a makeshift place of worship devoted to Moshe Dayan’s missing eye, venerating nothingness. The Temple soon became a bohemian sensation, a must-see hot spot for artists on their way to Eilat. This went on for a while until Dayan himself, allegedly, bought the Temple to make it go away.
The songs that accompanied the eye rituals and the illustrated canvases that adorned the Temple fell into oblivion for 50 years. In 2021, it came to light that the Dayan family estate in fact included the Temple of the Eye in its entirety. This suggested a new truth: Could it be that Dayan bought the temple not to get rid of it but rather to worship in it? And if that was the case, in his spiritual work, did he wish to escape reality, face his memories from the Yom Kippur War, or cope with his cancer? Is it possible that the spiritual practice that Fischer devised was so effective that it helped even a cynic like Dayan to transcend (or in his words “get high”)?
In the Israel Festival, Gon Ben Ari (of te Dayan family) and Oren Fischer (of the Fischer family) will reveal never before seen materials from the Temple of the Eye. Fischer will display large scale canvases inspired by his grandfather and Ben Ari will present a show inspired by the songs of the Temple and featuring a multiparticipant band and choir.
The show-exhibition-experience wishes to offer all of us a chance to look directly into the “nothingness” that imbues our life, and above all, a taste of the spiritual transcendence that got Dayan “high” at the Temple.
Special thanks to the Ben Ari and Fischer families for their willingness and openness to the process.
An Original Production for the Israel Festival