Kiss of death and a swimming pool
Sota means "wayward wife" and the Sota ritual, vaguely alluded to in Hebrew scripture, was meant to prove a wife had strayed. A high priest would give the accused woman a drink of bitter water. If guilty, she would bloat and die. In the legend of Sota and Bekhorah, Bekhorah masquerades as her less-than-blameless sister Sota and drinks the water. But when she returns home, Sota kisses her on the mouth and traces of the water cause Sota to drop dead on the spot. Artist Ofri Cnaani's The Sota Project retells the sisters' story in videos projected on all four walls of a narrow gallery at USC's Fisher Museum of Art. You see one sister ironing in her kitchen on one wall and, on the opposite wall, the other packing a bag. On a third wall, a group of busybodies in a swimming pool watches to see if Sota's guilty or not. You keep spinning around to see what's happening behind you or to your left, or walking the length of the room and then back again. At the end of Cnaani's story, only two projections are left: a woman singing and the sisters kissing. Neither sister dies. Their kiss just goes on and on until the picture fades. 823 Exposition Blvd.; through Dec. 1. (213) 740-4561, fisher.usc.edu.
Tuesdays-Fridays. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Dec. 1, 2012
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