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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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The Wandering Jew

by Ilya Milstein

Cash prize winner, Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2015
Single channel HD video

The Wandering Jew Ilya Milstein, b. 1990, Victoria
Video: 3:32

Combining CGI, HD digital video and hand-drawn animation, The Wandering Jew is a portrait of the legendary figure of the same name, set in the present. The video is staged within an impossible space based on pre-renaissance treatments of graphical perspective, vandalized with obscure Kabbalistic imagery and messages in Ancient Hebrew. The sitter, a dancer and artist, improvised many of his own actions and poses, to explore the unimaginable sensation and frustration of having lived in excess of 2000 years. Treating the indestructible Wandering Jew as a metaphor for digital media’s impervious preservation of its subjects, this piece contemplates loss, the morality of digital representation, and the vulnerability of the Jewish artistic tradition.

Related information

Macquarie Digital Portraiture Award 2015

Previous exhibition, 2015

An annual event to extend traditional notions of portraiture and foster emerging artists with an interest in contemporary technology.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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