An artist book juxtaposing text and image, history and its revision, The Blind Merchant provides the reader with alternative written and drawn narratives to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice adopting the point of view of Jewish moneylender Shylock.
Produced from 1989 to 1991, The Blind Merchant is composed of three elements: the complete text of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice; a “parasitical” text written by Roee Rosen that runs alongside the play, adopting the perspective of the principal antagonist Shylock, the Jewish moneylender; and 145 drawings that present an alternative approach to the drama's staging and casting of characters—Shylock is depicted as the blind merchant with drawings made by the artist while blindfolded. The book is also telling of its time, produced at the moment when the idea of originality was up for question, the subaltern was asked to speak, and just before Silicon Valley took over our imaginations. A compelling superimposition of Shakespeare, The Blind Merchant shows that classic stories are still open for new angles of approach that reflect the times of its reading.
Second edition (2018).
The paintings, films, and writings of Israeli artist Roee Rosen (born 1963 in Rehovot, Israel) have become known for their historical and theological consciousness, novelistic imagination, and psychological ambition. His work addresses the representation of history, the political economy of memory, and the politics of identity, often exploring the tension between trauma, horror, humor, and truth.
Rosen received degrees in visual art from the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College, both in New York. He now lives in Israel, where he teaches art and art history at Bezalel Academy of Art and at Beit Berl College. In 1997 Rosen's controversial exhibition “Live and Die as Eva Braun” at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, was aggressively attacked by Israeli politicians. It won critical praise, however, for its new approach to the representation of the memory of the Holocaust. Rosen's projects include the exhibition “Justine Frank (1900–1943): A Retrospective” (2009) and the films Two Women and a Man (2005) and The Confessions of Roee Rosen (2008). He has authored the books A Different Face (Shva, 2000), Lucy (Shadurian, 2000), Sweet Sweat (Babel, 2001), and Ziona™ (Keter, 2007).has invented