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Udi Aloni (born December 10, 1959) is an American-Israeli filmmaker, writer, and visual artist whose works frequently explore the relationship between politics and theology, with emphasis on the theology of secularism. He began his career as a painter, establishing the Bugrashov gallery in Tel Avivmarker, a home for contemporary art, cultural and political events. His work in large-scale art led him, while living in New Yorkmarker in 1995, to invent a method for hanging advertisements on urban architectural structures, and for this he is credited as the artist who redesigned New York [669712]. In 1996, Aloni began making films. His documentary, Local Angel (2002), and his first feature-length fiction, Forgiveness (2006), are both radical interpretations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that have stirred controversy in the Middle East and internationally. Currently, Aloni is working on a documentary about the nonviolent movement for liberation and freedom in Jammu and Kashmirmarker.

Politics

Aloni, in all of his activities, including university lectures, conferences and demonstrations, and by self-description, is a radical leftist. The film Forgiveness (2006), which had its Middle-Eastern premiere in Ramallahmarker, Palestine, recently stirred up controversy when the Israeli embassy in Paris threatened to withdraw funding from the Israeli Film Festival in Paris (Festival du Film – Israelien de Paris[669713]) should they open the festival with the film [669714].

Films

Aloni’s films have been presented in various leading film festivals and universities, among them the Berlin International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festivalmarker, the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, and the Jerusalem film festival. Forgiveness (2006), which took the audience award at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2006 [669715], was described by Slavoj Zizek as “maybe the most beautiful, powerful and important film ever made about the tragedies of the region” [669716].

  • Left (1996)
  • Local Angel (2002)
  • Innocent Criminals (2004) -Music video with DAM , Palestinian rap group
  • Forgiveness (Mechilot) (2006) –winner of Audience Award at the Woodstock Film Festival
  • Azadi (Freedom) (in production)


In 2007, Aloni was a Jury Member for the Manfred Salzgeber Award in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival in Berlinmarker, Germanymarker.

Writings

Aloni’s writing, which includes correspondences contemporary thinkers such as Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, and Avital Ronell, spans the fields of theology and psychoanalysis, literature and philosophy. His recently-published book Gilgul Mechilot (Forgiveness, Or Rolling In the Underworld's Tunnels), a collection of stories and pensees, includes his politically-charged essays Messianic Manifesto for Binationalism and Reflections on the Coming of the Messiah [669717].

Aloni coined the phrase “radical leftist Messianism” to describe his political ideology, which attempts to identify and analyze the theology of secularism, or the unconscious theological underpinnings of secularist and liberal discourses, specifically in Israel. In Messianic Manifesto for Binationalism [669718], he calls for a radical re-reading of Zionism, stating that “Any attempt to resist the Law of the Father as violent Zionist extremism only strengthens him. […] We must cleanse Zionism of its nationalistic elements without relinquishing its Messianic fervor for liberty, freedom, and equality.”

Visual Art

  • Re-U-Man Interactive Project [669719] –inaugural presentation: Metropolitan Museum of Artmarker; also exhibited at The Israel Museum in Jerusalemmarker and the 22nd St. Bridge in New York
  • Book of Sham: Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York
  • Parhessia: Ramat Gan Museum for Contemporary Art, Israel
  • God Is Dead Already From the Beginning –a conference with the participation of Umberto Eco and Moshe Idel, Mishkenot Shaananim, Israel
  • among others


See also

  • Udi Aloni website: http://www.udialoni.com
  • Forgiveness Official Site: http://www.forgivenessthefilm.com
  • Review of Forgiveness in the London Independent: http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/film/news/article1705590.ece
  • Local Angel Official Site: http://www.localangel.net
  • Audio lecture, Aloni and Judith Butler at Jewish Book Week, London 2007; http://www.jewishbookweek.com/2007/040307n.php
  • The Re-U-Man Interactive Project: http://udialoni.com/re-u-man/
  • "The Dimensions of Art": Alain Badiou on Aloni's "Forgiveness." In The Symptom; Lacan.com: http://www.lacan.com/symptom/?p=56


References

  • http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D02EFDD1138F931A35752C0A9669C8B63
  • http://www.isratim.co.il/
  • http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3370814,00.html
  • http://www.fest21.com/blog/woodstockff/audience_award_winners_announced_for_woodstock_ff
  • http://www.ica.org.uk/Jewish%20Book%20Week:%20Forgiveness+13194.twl
  • http://www.forgivenessthefilm.com/Udi/udi0.html



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