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Seated in Seclusion: Bratslav Hasidim and Contemporary Design

Edited by Eran Lederman and Sharon Weiser-Ferguson

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Bilingual English-Hebrew edition

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Isolated chairs, often patchily repaired or improvised from logs or rocks, can be found scattered among the trees in Israel’s forests. What purpose do these household objects serve in the middle of nature? Who put them there, and why? The answer is that they are used for self-seclusion as practiced by followers of the revered Hasidic Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (1772–1810).

This exhibition catalogue brings together meditative photographs of the chairs in their settings and contemporary designs for chairs that resonate with them. Accompanying the images are reflections by Bezalel Academy industrial designer Eran Lederman who took the photographs, quotations from R. Nahman, contributions by scholars of Hasidic thought, and a conversation about chairs with prominent Israeli designers. Seated in Seclusion raises timely questions regarding nature, culture, sustainability, repair, and self-isolation while spotlighting an intriguing meeting place of spirituality and creativity.

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