The Sota Project

The Sota Project
Author: Ofri Cnaani
Publisher: Sternthal Books
Language: English / Hebrew
Pages: 176
Size: 23.5 x 15.8 cm
Weight: 527 g
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780986483516
Availability: In stock
Price: €29.50
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Product Description

The Sota Project is an art book that accompanies Ofri Cnaani’s latest video installation of the same name. The book retells an anonymous story from the Talmud about two sisters named Sota and Bekhorah, living in separate villages, but bound together in symbiotic loyalty amidst a backdrop of jealousy, betrayal, deception, societal judgment, ritual humiliation and ultimately death.

When Sota’s husband accuses her of infidelity, she unexpectedly appears at her sister Bekhora’s door. Sota explains that her husband suspects her of being unfaithful, and is taking her to the holy temple in Jerusalem to drink from the Bitter Water. If the women drinking this concoction had been unfaithful, then she would blow up on the spot; were she to be found innocent, she would be blessed with a child. As Sota explains her predicament, Bekhora offers to go in her place. They change their clothes, and she duplicitously accompanies her husband to Jerusalem.

The book opens with an essay by art historian James Trainor, followed by ten thematically divided sections – each one corresponding to a line from the original Talmudic verse. Each section contains excerpts from the film’s script, as well as commentaries from a variety of scholars and academics. The visual retelling of the story is made up of photographs from Cnaani’s film, that are hidden under gatefolds, which when opened, reveal striking visual panoramas that provide a contemporary re-telling of the story.