Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson

Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson was born in Moscow, immigrated to Israel in 1991, grew up in Jerusalem and currently lives in Berlin. She speaks, reads and writes several languages. Her own hybrid identity drives her to explore cultural self-definition in individuals and in communities. In her work she explores manifestation of migration and integration processes through text and the visualization of language.

Human nature tends to demand cultural uniformity and unequivocal self-definition. However, in reality many cultural identities are much more complex. Given contemporary political shifts around the world, and the reality of globalization, a unified identity is increasingly rare. Cultural identities are actually fluid, flexible and multifaceted. Language and typography are defining elements of a culture. By using strict set of rules, they indicate the undisputed nature of it, both in content and visual form. Ella’s work contradicts the rigidity often ascribed to language. She uses diverse typography styles in different languages to create a hybrid outcome: the co-existence of multiple identities in a unified body of work.

Ella studied typography and design in two multicultural and multilingual worlds; Jerusalem (BAAD) and New York (SVA). These places played a key role in the formation of her artistic path. A significant part of Ella’s artistic activity exists in the public space of the diverse surroundings she passes. She creates site-specific hybrid calligraphy murals in public locations, such as Mensch Meier, ZK/U, Kindl Brauerei (Berlin) and JCC East Bay (Berkeley, California). Ella’s first solo exhibition “Order” (2017, Almacén Gallery, Tel Aviv Jaffa) was her first artistic extensive research of hybrid identity through language and calligraphy. Her ink on paper and print works took part in group exhibitions at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Culture, Jaffa Museum, The Red House Gallery, Mazeh 9 Gallery (Israel), The Altes Rathaus Marzahn (Berlin), BB Galeria (Krakow) and more. Her work was included in the collection of Klingspor Museum (Germany).


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March - May 2018Based in: Berlin, Germany
Photo: Geoffrey Biddle


Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson reflects on her time at the Peleh Residency