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Udi Aloni

Biographical notes.

Udi Aloni (b. 1959 in Israel) is a filmmaker, writer, and artist whose work focuses on the interrelations between art, politics and theology in Israeli-Palestinian history and German-Jewish philosophy. He began his career as a painter, establishing the radical Bugrashov gallery in Tel Aviv. His movies and visual art projects have been presented in various leading museums, galleries, and film festivals around the world, among them the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Locarno, Tribeca, and Buenos Aires film festivals. In all of his activities, including university lectures, conferences and demonstrations, Aloni is a strong voice in promoting justice, peace, and solidarity between Israel and Palestine. His work includes correspondences with the most pre-eminent philosophers of our time, including Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Avital Ronell, Judith Butler, Naomi Klein, and Tony Kushner, who describe him as a unique and revolutionary thinker. For the last twenty years, Aloni has concentrated on making films and writing.


1996 – Left (Documentary Film)
2002 – Local Angel (Documentary Film; Première at the Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Section, 2003)
2003 – Innocent Criminals (Music Video; Première at the Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Section, 2003)
2006 – Forgiveness (Feature Film; Première at the Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Section, 2006)
2008 – Kashmir: Journey to Freedom (Documentary Film; Première at the Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Section, 2009)
2013 – Art/Violence (Feature Film; Première at the Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Section, 2013) – Winner of the CINEMA fairbindet prize, Berlin International Film Festival; Prize of Juliano, Cinema South Festival; “Open Eyes Award,” MedFilm Festival, Rome
2016 –Junction 48 (Feature Film; Première at the Berlin International Film Festival, Panorama Section) – Winner of the Audience Award, Berlin International Film Festival; Best International Narrative Feature, Tribeca Film Festival; Best Feature Film, Art Film Fest Slovakia; Best Actor: Tamer Nafar, Art Film Fest Slovakia; Audience Award, Seminci Film Festival; Audience Award, Woodstock Film Festival; Best Music Award, Antalya Film Festival; Best Actor: Tamer Nafar, Antalya Film Festival; Audience Award, Middle East Now Festival, Florence, Italy; Opening Night Award, Bogotá International Film Festival, Columbia; Grand Jury Prize, Sound Screen Film Festival, Italy; Ophir Award for Music, Israel; IMEU Award for Tamer Nafar, United States


Click here for links to recent articles

1988 – ‘Discourse on Contemporary Israeli Art’, column in the ‘Ha’Ir’ magazine
1990 – Udi Aloni, The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan
1990 – ‘An Other of Our Own’, Adi Ofir, Catalog
1991 – ‘A Cautious Touch in the Origins’, Michael Sgan Cohen, Studio Magazine
1991 – ‘Elysha Wanders’, Udi Aloni, Studio Magazine
1992 – Parrhesia, The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan
1992 – ‘Redemption Through Transgression’, Baruch Blich, Catalog
1995 – The Book of Sham
2004 – Local Angel, Book published by ICA London
2005 – גלגול מחילות (Gilgul MechilotRolling in the Underworld’s Tunnels), Book in Hebrew, published by Kibbutz Hameuchad
2009 – ‘Seinfeld, you were wrong to condemn our Toronto protest ‘, Article in Haaretz
2009 – ‘This time it’s not funny!’ Article in Haaretz
2009 – ‘An Appeal to Israeli Filmmakers’
2009 – ‘And Who Shall I Say is Calling?’
2010 – צדו של המשט שתעדיפו לא לראות, Article in Ynet
2010 -בביקורה בישראל ג’ודית באטלר לא מתעניינת במג, Article in Haaretz
2010 – הבמאי אודי אלוני מחרים את “יס” במחאה על פסילת “גן עדן עכשיו, Article in
2010 – עוז ויהושע כמצדיקי הכיבוש, Article in Haaretz
2010 – ‘Brooklyn-Jenin’, column in Mondoweiss
2010 – ‘A view from the left’, Article in Ynet
2010 – ‘Amos Oz, A.B Yehoshua and the Military Industry Complex’
2010 – ‘Why I back Israel sanctions: BDS movement’s actions aimed at attaining goals of justice, peace and equality’, Article in Ynet
2010 -‘Thus Spoke the Left: A Political-Cultural Lexicon Following the Document Called “The Manifesto of the National Left”’
2010 – ‘The Binational Front for (Complete) Civic Equality: What Israel Fears’, – with Ofer Neiman
2010 -‘Israelis are behaving like spoiled rich brats’, Article in Haaretz
2010 – ‘Elementary, My Dear Schnabel’
2010 – ‘The Spectres of a Borrowed Village’
2010 – ‘Judith Butler: As a Jew, I was taught it was ethically imperative to speak up – Part I and Part II’, Interview in Haaretz
2010 – ‘“this place which is called ….” Judith Butler in Sheikh-Jarrah’, Article in Haaretz
2011 – תראו מי כועס, Article in Haaretz Article in Haaretz
2011 – ‘Judge Goldstone’s offensive apology for apartheid”, Article in Haaretz
2011 – ‘Support a Palestinian family fighting to stay together under Israel’s citizenship law’, Article in Mondoweiss
2011 – ‘Offener Brief zum “Tannhäuser”-Skandal: Wagner wagen! ‘, Article in Spiegel – with Itay Tiran
2011 – A binational tent, in Jaffa, Article in Mondoweiss
2011 – What Does a Jew Want?: On Binationalism and Other Specters, Book published by Columbia University Press, edited by Slavoj Žižek
2012 – ‘Support a Palestinian family fighting to stay together under Israel’s citizenship law’, Article in Mondoweiss
2013 – ‘What Comes Next: A manifesto for the Jewish-Palestinian Arabic-Hebrew state’, Article in Mondoweiss
2013 – ‘When one justice tramples another justice’, Article in Mondoweiss
2013 – ‘On Art/Violence at the Berlin International Film Festival’, Article in Mondoweiss
2013 – ‘Offener Brief zum “Tannhäuser”-Skandal: Wagner wagen!’ Article in Spiegel, with Itay Tiran
2014 – ‘Radical grace: A eulogy to Shulamit Aloni, from her youngest son’, Article in Haaretz
2014 – ‘When Yitzhak Rabin met Marek Edelman: A story for Holocaust Remembrance Day’, Article in Mondoweiss

Film Festivals

Berlin International film festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International film festival
Tribeca Film Festival
Jerusalem International film festival
Buenos Aires film festival
Locarno International Film Festival
Woodstock Film Festival
Among others

Academic Symposia

New York University
Columbia University
Berlin Film Festival
Pennsylvania State University
FEST Heidelberg
Among others

Other Events (incl. Lectures, Theater, and Performances)

1992 – Guest Atelier and scholarship of the City of Dusseldorf, Germany
1996 – Re-U-Man Inaugural Presentation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2005 – 2006 – Symposia and Lectures with Slavoj Žižek
2006 – Artist in Residence, European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland
2007 – “Forgiveness and Retribution”: Symposium with Judith Butler, Jewish Book Week, London
2008 – Jury Member – Manfred Salzgeber Award, Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival
2009 – Journey in Palestine with philosopher Alain Badiou
2009 – 2011 – Film Coach, Freedom Theatre of Jenin Refugee Camp, Palestine
2009 – 2012 – Brooklyn-Jenin blog series for Mondoweiss
2010 – What If Antigone Was A Refugee? Event with Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek & The Jenin Freedom Theatre at Lincoln Center, St. Paul The Apostle Church
2010 – Boğaziçi University with Slavoj Žižek
2011 – While Waiting (Theatre production with graduates of the Freedom Theatre, Jenin Refugee Camp, in collaboration with the Goethe Institut in Ramallah)
2011 – “Theory-Art-Action: On Binationalism and Other Specters” – A week-long retrospective event at Columbia University, New York
2011 – “When Hollywood Meets Jenin” – A seminar with Slavoj Žižek and James Schamus, Ramallah, Palestine
2012 – “What does a Jew want? On Theory, Art and Action” – Performance/lecture with Slavoj Žižek at the Public Theater, New York
2012 – Performance of While Waiting in the Ballhaus – Berlin, Germany
2012 – Performance of While Waiting in Kassel, Germany
2013 – Keynote at Edward Said Memorial Conference – Humanities Utrecht University
2014 – NYU Near Eastern Studies Visual Culture Series: “Art/Violence: In Memory of Juliano Mer-Khamis” – Post-Screening discussion with Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek
2014 – Schaubühne Berlin: “Continuing: a memorial event for Juliano Mer-Khamis” – screening of Art/Violence followed by a talk with Thomas Ostermeier and Udi Aloni & a concert and party with DAM
2014 – ACUD Berlin:  ‘An Angel under Construction’: roundtable discussion at parallax 1: Optical and Topological Inversions – With Sami Khatib and Anne van Leeuwen
2014 – From Anamorphosis to Rolling in the Underworld’s Tunnels at parallax 3, ACUD Berlin. With Mladen Dolar and Sami Khatib. In solidarity with the people of Gaza.
2015 – Anti-Oedipus or: Kaddish to Shulamit at the Schillertage festival, Mannheim, Germany
2015 – Screening of Art/Violence at bilingual school, Jerusalem
2015 – ‘What’s Art Got to Do With It?’ conference, Amsterdam
2015 – ‘Benjamin in Palestine’ conference (co-organizer and presenter), Ramallah, Palestine
2016 – Retrospective film screenings at Festival of Tolerance in Ljubljana + panel with Slavoj Žižek and Mladen Dolar
2017 – Special screening of Junction 48 followed by discussion with Slavoj Žižek – IFC (NYC)
2017.- Jury Member, Tribeca Film Festival
2017 – Cinema Retrospective: Proche-Orient Ce Que Peut Le Cinéma. Les Trois Luxembourg – Paris, France
2017 – Cinema Retrospective, Babylon Theater Berlin

Interactive Presentations

1996 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Re-U-Man
1997 – Tel-Aviv University – Re-U-Man
1998 – Mishkenot Shaananim – God is dead already from the beginning
1999 – MUSEUMS and the WEB – God is dead already from the beginning
2000 – Van Leer Institute – Three Shofar Blows: A Midrash for Rosh Hashana

One-Person Exhibitions

1987 – Bograshov Gallery, Tel Aviv
1987 – “The Archive of Mordechai Dimitry”, Bograshov Gallery, Tel Aviv
1989 – Bograshov Gallery, Tel Aviv
1990 – The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan
1992 – “Apologetic Computer”, Julie M. Gallery, Tel Aviv
1992 – “Parrhesia”, The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan
1995 – “The Book of Sham” – Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York
1996 – Project Room, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
1997 – Re-U-Man Installation, Cinematech, Tel Aviv

Selected Group Exhibitions

1986 – Recipient of the American – Israel Cultural Foundation Grant Awards.
1987 – The Hall of Windows, Acre.
1988 – “Critics’ choice”, Artifact Gallery, Tel Aviv
1988 – “Fresh Paint”, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
1988 – “Artists for Human Rights”, Artists House, Jerusalem
1989 – Israel Festival, Jerusalem
1989 – “Aperto ’90 – The Israeli Proposal”, The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan
1991 – “Summer exhibition”, Tel Aviv Museum
1993 – “Look Who’s Talking”, Hubertus Wunschik Gallery, Dusseldorf
1993 – “There”, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
1995 – Group exhibition at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York
2000 – “The City” at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York

Projects In The Public Realm

1990 – “The Twin” – Environmental project in Yeruham Community Center, Israel, parallel to a twin project in Tel Aviv Museum.
1991 – The stage for the Amnesty International Human rights event – The cultural center of Tel Aviv
1992 – Carmiel Cultural Center, Israel
1992 – “Parrhesia 1”, The Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan
1993 – The Ghetto Project, Venice Biennial, Italy
1993 – “Parrhesia 2”, Dusseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Dusseldorf, Germany
1993 – “Parrhesia 3”, Internationaler Wettbewerb, Graz, Austria
1995 – “Parrhesia 4”, Soho, New York, NY
1996 – The Re-U-Man 22nd Street Bridge Project, New York, NY

Quotes about What Does a Jew Want? On Binationalism and Other Spectres

“Udi Aloni provides us with a measure of the distance between our capacity for understanding and the terrors we choose instead. His art is trembling the underground, indeed. Boundless admiration.”
-Tony Kushner

“Udi Aloni has written a remarkable series of love letters to what his country could be, challenging his fellow Jews to escape from all of our ghettos, whether physical or psychological. Aloni’s political courage is contagious and reading him is a liberatory experience.”
-Naomi Klein

“A provocative and beautiful portfolio of reflections on Israel-Palestine, written by an Israeli artist/intellectual of the first order.”
-Julia Reinhard Lupton

Quotes about Junction 48

Junction 48 sensitively yet powerfully conveys the considerable challenges inherent in attempting to reconcile those rocky crossroads of coexistence and cultural identity.”
-Los Angeles Times

“As with all great art and political movements, Junction 48 balances the tender and the powerful, the personal and the universal.”
-Ben Norton, Alternate

Junction 48 is more than a mere crowd-pleaser, and it refuses easy catharsis, ending with a cliffhanger. But since this is a movie about deciding to act, maybe that’s the perfect note.”
-New York Times Critics Pick

“Best film of the year.”
-Slavoj Žižek

Quotes about Art/Violence

“A superbly-made collage of hip-hop, entertainment, theater, videos and documentation.”
Frankfurter Rundschau

Art/Violence set new benchmarks and trends in terms of fresh thinking and approaches for dealing with oppression and exploitation.”
-Charles Achaye-Odong, CINEMA fairbindet jury member and DW Akademie project manager

Quotes about Forgiveness

“Enormously powerful and important […] wrenching and beautiful and devastating.”
-Judith Butler

“FORGIVENESS is maybe the most beautiful, powerful and important film ever made about the tragedies of the region.”
-Slavoj Žižek

“…the film is one of the most challenging, as well as memorable, to hit Israeli screens in many years.”
-London’s Independent

Quotes about Local Angel

“A rich, important, multivocal work, one that is repeatedly breaking and fissuring, taking us to the limits of what is possible.”
-Avital Ronell

“Not only beautiful, but very important. Aloni’s real project is the creation of a New Jewish identity.”
-Alain Badiou