The Happy Prince

Bezalel MFA graduate exhibition, Herzl 119 Tel Aviv (2023)
Curators: Dor Gues and Hadas Maor

Sound installation: speakers, brown fur cloak, wooden rocking chair, swallows’ feather, wooden stand, plastic bag, brass curls, felt carpet, variable dimensions

            A gold-plated statue in the form of a prince is placed in the town square. The prince observes from his seat on the poor citizens who are struggling with cold and hunger, and asks a wandering swallow to cooperate with him and help them. Little by little she dismantles the gems and gold plating that adorn his still body.

The Happy Prince is a sculptural audio installation based on the famous story by Oscar Wilde, in the version of television personality and entertainer Dudu Topaz. It is a story of limitless self-sacrifice, the elusive nature of exploitation and the fickleness of the life of fame.

Topaz's voice is taken from the children's program Dudu Tells Gulu, which was broadcast on the israeli Channel 2 in the early nineties. In the original program, Topaz himself embodies all the characters of the story - the prince, the bird, the narrator and the townspeople - while he emphasizes, expands and skips as he sees fit.

Weinstein's work “The Happy Prince” evokes Topaz's version from the screen to the exhibition space. Visitors are invited to stroll between the narrator's armchair, the statue of the prince, the swallow and the residents of the city.

︎︎︎ Video documentation

Music composition and production: Avshalom Hasfari

The recording from Dudu Tells Gulu is courtesy of Wizart Ltd.
The project was supported by the Michael and Pauline Lockman Memorial Scholarship.

Swallow's feather: Yuval Dax collection
Drawing: Yosel Bregner
Frame: Yossi Berger
Framing: Tzohar (Between The Frames)