Entries tagged with “Herzlya”.


The beautiful Saturday last week allowed us to walk to the local art museum which in the last few years hosted several interesting exhibitions, bringing together contemporary artists from Israel and from all around the world.

 

museum

 

The theme of the current exhibition is Theatrical Gestures and you will find the rationale of the name if you read the explanatory text on the Web pages of the museum – the relation between the artist and the work, looking at the world as a stage, incorporating images, characters and words and making sense of them in a world where our time and senses are so much put at stress from so many directions. I would not say that I got it completely, but the theme seems to me generic enough to bring together almost any work of art, and in this case it’s a collection of works from The Angel Collection of Contemporary Art which otherwise would have been impossible for me to see ever. After the great show if Israeli art at Ein Harod a few years ago it’s the second time I see in Israel that important works from private collections are brought for viewing in museums, and this is a trend to salute.

Here are a few of the works that drew my attention. There are many things to appreciate in this exhibition and I surely recommend a visit for everybody who is interested in contemporary art and happens to be in Herzlya or central Israel in the next few months.

 

jackson_ness

 

The work of Mathew Day Jackson Ain’t dead yet(based on Chief Bigfoot) mixes elements of American folklore and … Brancusi (yes, the head of The Sleeping Muse). Close to it we see two works by Israel star photographer Adi Ness inspired by the characters and situations of the Bible enacted by contemporary models.

 

david_altmejd

 

Canadian artist David Altmejd builds a classically shaped bird out of human hands – the effect mixes attraction and horror.

 

monahan_sasportas

 

In another room California-born  Matthew Monahan‘s Scoria Pyre (a strange monster made of bronze and steel) stares at the huge Fan #6 created by Israeli artist  Yehudit Sasportas - a fusion mix of industrial techniques and Oriental crafts, of European landscape represented by means of traditional Japanese painting techniques.

 

aoshima_brown

 

The Japanese influence is present also in another room, where Don Brown‘s YOKO XVIII shares space with two works by Japanese painter Chiho Aoshima who bear a magic and uneasy eroticism drawn with manga techniques.

 

vik_muniz

 

Vik Muniz is probably one of the best know names among the artists in the Angel collection and in the exhibition at the Herzlya Museum because of his documentary film Waste Land  which describes the transformation by the power of art of a community near Rio living near a huge waste deposit. To some the two works exposed now in Herzlya continue the same motive – the one pictured here is reprezentation of a mythological theme realized with waste material.

 

ulla_von_brandenburg

 

The exhibition of German artist Ulla von Brandenburg does not belong to the same collection, but aligns with the subject of the exhibition. Chorspiel is a huge spiral-shaped wall one walks inside to find a sung family drama being projected by the video installation in the center. 

The current exhibitions are open until April 20.

 

I am no fan of ceremonies and speeches. The one yesterday was however one that I would not miss as the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzlya celebrated its 2010-2011 graduates. And two of the speeches at the rather long ceremony said things that really interested me and I will share them here.

Professor Uriel Reichman spoke about the history of the college that he founded in 1994. It’s a private college and no funding comes from the state budget. (for full disclosure the taxes we paid were approximately the double we would have paid in a state university). 1400 students graduated this year in one of the six schools specialized in law, computer sciences, business, economics, government and diplomacy, psychology. About a quarter of them come from other countries and more than half of those in the generation that graduated this year chose to make alyah and build their life in Israel. Approximately ten percent of the students who are coming from weaker economic families benefit from scholarships covering their studies. Combining the theoretic studies with the practical applications, encouraging free and independent thinking, creativity and personal initiative the college is today the best or among the best in all the fields it educates the students. I would add that the fact that the college is located in Herzlya transformed the city in many ways – some good, other like the increase in the cost of lodging not that good – but certainly they inject energy in the life of this northern neighbor of Tel Aviv.

The second speaker who impressed me was the head of the students union. I was expecting one of these speeches full of thanks for the professors, memories of the good time spent together and promises to meet in 10, 20 and 50 years. These were not completely absent, but there was also something else. The guy, towards his 30s, a man who like many other learned, worked, and went to the army service during his studies had his first daughter born a few weeks ago in the very hour when Israel transits from Memorial Day to Independence Day. He shared with the audience the feelings and wishes for his daughter – the dream to see her grow in a Jewish and democratic country, a homeland where any Jew can come at any time he decides to return and live in his country and where non-Jewish citizens can live their lives in full and equal rights, a country with recognized and safe borders, a country that is proud of what its citizens have achieved and standing in deeds by its moral principles, a country inspired by its history and tradition but where any man and woman can walk, dress and behave as they wish without interfering or imposing on the way other walk, dress and behave. A beautiful dream yet to become true that the graduates of this year will need to wok hard and sometimes fight to achieve.

And yes, I am the proud father of a BA graduate in Computer Sciences. Congratulations, son!

It was twilight time in Herzlya, and Liliana directed me to take a few photos at the corner of our street. Here is one of them.