ARTWORK > The Enchanted | Contemporary Jewish Museum

Title: The Enchanted
Date: 2017
Medium: Wood, silicone, sheepskin, vellum, lights, and mixed media
Dimensions: 4’ x 3’ x 16'


Michael Arcega works with a wide range of materials and creates sculptures and installations that are informed by historical narratives, sociopolitical dynamics, and power relations. His work The Enchanted is inspired by the folk tale The Enchanted Island in which Rabbi Wolf Kitzes, after having been lost at sea, finds himself alone in a mansion and discovers an incredibly long table; he is asked to choose between two objects on the table: a shofar and a horn of plenty. His choice will have consequences he does not anticipate. Arcega’s piece is encountered from different perspectives: from the main stairwell one can see under the table, and while one goes up the stairs, the whole sculpture is revealed. Like the tale’s protagonist, the viewer is presented with the two objects, rendered otherworldly by suggesting levitation, theatrical lighting and a variety of textures. The Enchanted is a sculptural embodiment of the tale’s crucial moment of decision-making, reflecting on the power and impact of choice.

(Photos by JKA Photography)