Skip to main content
Menu

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.

© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery of Australia (NPGA) 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.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.