Another subject that occupies Bergel in his paintings are the reactors themselves and nuclear explosions.
In the painting of the reactor in Isfahan we delve into the innards of the Iranian death machines manufacturing nuclear weapons.
The nuclear reactor and the machines assembling it, shiny in their cleanliness and the feeling of a lifesaving medicine factory, the efficiency of the scientist moving between the machines with a face mask as someone who wouldn’t pollute or be polluted from his craft. But as the title of the painting states this factory’s declared objective is the destruction of the state of Israel and undermining the delicate balance of the middle east and maybe the whole world. Bergel as a second generation of Holocaust survivors puts the reactor in front of us as saying this is happening now, pay attention!
To the paintings of nuclear explosion mushrooms Bergel gives names like “Broccoli Atom on Orange” or “Atom #4” while in reality, the aforementioned paintings of mushroom explosions are Bergel’s interpretation of the nuclear explosion in Hiroshima and the deadly consequences of nuclear manufacturing. But anything in nature has order, and form to every phenomenon. a mushroom cloud is a pyrocumulus cloud of water vapors or shards of rocks and dust created from a large explosion. Even though the famous “mushroom cloud” is mostly known in relation to a nuclear bombing, in actuality this kind of cloud can manifest following any strong explosion (natural or artificial). So a mushroom cloud is a rain cloud that revives the earth and its inhabitants while at the same time a cloud that destroys and could destroy all life on earth.
In the entrance to the exhibition the artwork “El Al (heavenward)” is installed, a light sculpture covered by opaque plastic material and painted as a large eye and on it the writing el al. The sculpture spreads light upwards and illuminates its surrounding, venous capillaries intertwine in its upper and lower part as an all-seeing eye of which there is no hiding.
Two other exhibited artworks leave room for cautious optimism. The one, a thick wooden plank, and carved on it is the word “BaSaD” (abbreviation of BeSa’ida Deshmiya, which is Aramaic for “With God’s Help”) in popish vibrance, the skies are the background for the word while the letter “Sa’mech” in the center of the painting as a bright red eye saying “with god’s help?”
The image of the painting “The Canary, The Joyous Songbird” was taken from a collectible card booklet from Bergel’s childhood. The cards and the booklet “Olam Ha’Chai” (The Living World) were collectible cards that children collected and filled during the 60’s and 70’s of the previous century which were a source of knowledge, like an early printed google on flora, fauna and general knowledge. Bergel takes the canary and places it as a test bird for poisonous air. The canary was used by coal miners to warn the presence of poisonous gas in mines. If the canary would show signs of distress then it would be an indication for the presence of poisonous gas.
Prometheus is a super realistic exhibition on surreal subjects, worlds of beauty opposing the horror as we experience the reality of our lives, the will of the individual and society to a life of peace and sanity, and at the same time loaded with violence and destruction sprouting from all over.