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Onomatopee 217, Jonathan Touitou, 2021

Detective Elchmanyahu’s auto-da-fe

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'When artefacts become pieces of evidence and artists are transfigured into fictional characters animated by their worship of Western art, culture shrinks into the narrow border of the state nation:" would state Tweetu, the weird curator and main suspect of the plot.


Detective Elchmanyahu's auto-da-fe follows the bound to fail investigation on the fire that burned a public art collection in southern Tel Aviv. The dodgy officer in charge uses all imaginable tricks and trades of whodunit novels to unfold a police investigation that casts a gloomy yet lucid look over the Israeli culture and its visual art scene. Framed in between fact and fiction by the tendentious writing of Jonathan Touitou, this book is a layered investigation of the art world and its deeds.


Against the backdrop of the second Intifada and today's recurrent undermining of Palestinian rights, this controversial book will provide its readers with a perspective of an infiltrated outsider on the Israeli society, possibly supply the welding torch for the cynical ones, a bonfire for the freaks and fireworks for the wholehearted.




Born in Paris to immigrated northern African parents, Jonathan Touitou’s trajectory is akin to the wandering Jew. Hoping to reverse the curse, he left France for Jerusalem during the Oslo agreements only to find himself on the road again, twenty years later, for the milk of the holy land had turned sour.
Touitou studied photography and graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and design, the gallery of which he later directed and curated. He set up the Reservoir, an unrestricted and freely accessible temporary art collection. Touitou initiated the BAAD gallery, which functioned as a collaborative platform for creative thinkers of various fields. His works were shown at museums and galleries in Zurich, Berlin, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. His writing was commissioned, among others, by the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, the Liebling Haus – White City Center and the Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York. He works and lives with his wife and son in Berlin.


110 x 178 mm / 4.33 x 7 inch portrait
Orit Bulgaru and Jonathan Touitou
Jonathan Touitou
Quentin Gaudry, assisted by Aurelie Morra
English and Hebrew
Release date
Sewn and glued
inlay: Pergraphica Natural Rough 90 gr. cover: Materica Terra rossa 250 gr.
cover: 1 black print + yellow 972 folio on front cover. Inside 4/4.
Printon, Tallin (Est.)
Noam Text by Adi Stern & Mandatory 29 by Fontef
yellow 972 folio on front cover
Production assistant
Moranne Mintz
Onomatopee project manager
Freek Lomme
Ami Asher and Roi Bar
Roi Bar
Made possible by
The Israel Lottery Council For Culture & Arts and Onomatopee. The Project BAAD was made possible by the generous support of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem as well as the cooperation of the Bezalel MFA in Tel Aviv.
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