Jude, an inflatable PVC sculpture, creates a jarring conflict between the word “Jude”, with its heavily charged historical connotations, and the light, frivolous display of the four letters that comprise the sculpture. A re-make of American artist Robert Indiana’s iconic Pop Art image LOVE, it consists of the distorted letters JU over the letters DE, black lettering and a bright yellow background that evoke memories of the yellow Star of David, inscribed with the word Jude, that has become a symbol of Nazi persecution.
The observer is caught between the initial playful appearance flowing from the sculpture, and darker, more complex feelings. The observer is forced to take part in the work — only if their heartbeat indicates that they have been moved by the sculpture does the statue inflate. Can the creation construct a new image for JUDE?

EITAN BARTAL graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, works as an artist and designer and defines himself as a “Visual Rhetorician”. He teaches at the Holon Institute of Technology, where he served (2005-08) as the Head of Communications Department. Bartal works subversively in the society in which he lives. His personal discovery of how mass consciousness is formed and use of visual rhetoric led him to act as a Trojan horse in the system. [PORTFOLIO]