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Open Up (‘Patoach Tiftach’)

Mar 16, 2012 by American Jewish World Service  | 

Dov Abramson
Open Up (‘Patoach Tiftach’)
194 glass boxes, 10x10x10cm each, 7147 marbles


Due to our legal constraints the Where Do You Give? Design Competition could only be open to people in the US. However, we received this lovely submission from Dov Abramson and it was so great that we decided to put it on our blog—check it out!

כי יהיה בך אביון… פתוח תפתח את ידך לו והעבט תעביטנו די מחסורו אשר יחסר לו‪

“When any of your brothers is poor… open up your hand generously, and extend to him any credit he needs to take care of his wants.”  (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

“Open Up (‘Patoach Tiftach’)” is an infographic installation designed to depict the comparative wealth of the world’s countries. Each of the 194 countries of the world is represented by one transparent glass box, containing an amount of marbles that represents its Gross National Product.

The transparency of the boxes allows intriguing near-interactions between the various countries and societies: developing countries looking up at wealthy ones, well-to-do countries side-by-side, and so forth. The piece even proposes the conceptual visualization of issues such as outsourcing, immigration and wealth distribution.

The potential mobility of wealth and resources, while at first glance seems close at hand - ‘right there’, so to speak - is nonetheless met with walls, albeit transparent ones.

Who has more? Who less? Why? Can this change? Should we be active in re-distributing the marbles ‘fairly’, as on a children’s playground, or do we allow the pieces fall where they may? These are the questions that ‘Open Up’ poses to us all.

Hopefully, ‘Open Up’ will confront its viewers with the current state of global inequality regarding wealth, resources and opportunities. The piece does not preach to a specific solution, but rather enhances the understanding of the present status, thus sparking a conversation: Is change in order? If so, how should we go about making that change? Are these boxes ready to be ‘opened up’?

Dov Abramson is a graphic designer and artist based in Jerusalem. A graduate of Bezalel, Dov has his own studio in Jerusalem where he and his team explore the boundaries of form, text, color and language in Israeli and Jewish Society. The studio combines classic graphic design and branding work for clients such as the Avi Chai Foundation and Gesher, with independent art that deals with Jewish and Israeli identity.
Dov’s work has been on exhibit at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and purchased for the permanent collection of the Jewish Museum of New York. His piece “Seeing the Forest through the Trees” is currently showing at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco as part of the “Do Not Destroy” exhibit.
More at: www.dovabramsonstudio.com.

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