Participating artists: David Adika, Boaz Arad, Maya Attoun, Gili Avissar, Carmel Bar, Ido Bar-El, Keren Benbenisty, David Chaki, Dana Darvish, Dorit Figovich Goddard, Yair Garbuz, Dor Guez, Rachel Kainy, Gabi Kricheli, Elad Larom, Ella Littwitz, Roy Menachem Markovich, Noa Raz Melamed, Zvi Tolkovsky, Dana Yoeli
In 1906 Boris Schatz (1867-1932) founded the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter, the Bezalel National Museum was established and housed in the building known as the Artists' House today. It functioned as an eclectic multi-disciplinary museum, showcasing a vast collection of taxidermies, archaeological artifacts, botany, arts and crafts, Judaica, etc., a collection which served primarily as a source of inspiration and practical knowledge for the students.
Bezalel was a cultural enterprise, reflecting the zeitgeist as well as the need to create a new Jewish-national identity. The need to formulate a new narrative is discernible in the evolving collection which fuses local "Eretz-Israeli" motifs with iconic symbols, utopian images, and "Judaized" foreign elements. The Bezalel National Museum was closed in 1965.
A contemporary cultural and archival study, "Gatherer / Nonfunctional Display" will span the entire Artists' House building, orchestrating material and conceptual encounters, not just between knowledge and objects, but also between different generations of artists.
The overflowing, boisterous display characteristic of the National Museum is an interesting case study. It raises questions about the museum space, its goals and meanings; a space which spins a historical, cultural, and economic narrative by juxtaposing the diverse cultural images and knowledge comprising it.
The Artists' House will become a metaphoric space overflowing with past memories and future anxieties, the residues of a utilitarian, mundane, low or high culture. The display method will challenge mainstream standards of taste and customary organization. This mode of display represents a flowing, open structure of seemingly nonfunctional knowledge, while the curatorial decision is political as much as it is emotional and associative.
The exhibition will offer an alternative social-cultural conclusion and trigger questions relating to gathering and hoarding as an obsessive, reflexive, and emotional act: What is a collection? What is an internal inventory? What is a real or fabricated memory? What kind of an identity is formed through objects and their mode of arrangement?
Each work will uniquely demonstrate how the present selects its past and attaches itself to a new history.
· The exhibition is accompanied by a Catalogue
· Gallery talks with the artists and the curator: Fri., 29.5.15 at 12 noon, Sat., 20.6.15 at 12 noon, Tues., 21.7.15 at 5:30pm
· A schedule of special events will be published at a later date