Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art

Tobi Kahn - URAH IV

Jewish Art Salon members Andi Arnovitz, Ken Goldman, Tobi Kahn, Judith Margolis, Jacqueline Nichols and Ruth Schreiber will participate in the first Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art.

See Biennale video here

Tobi Kahn, who is renowned for his meditative and sacred art, will join other international and Israeli artists exhibiting in the first Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art that will take place in five different locations around the city, from 16 September – 31 October 2013.

Andi Arnovitz
Modeled on the century-old Venice Biennale, the Jerusalem Biennale will offer – for the first time - a stage for contemporary creative forces that relate to the Jewish world of content. 

Curators and artists with different approaches and from the haredi and modern orthodox through to the secular worlds will give their own interpretation of contemporary Jewish art. 

Judith Margolis
Judith Margolis will show two of her works: "Waters Above and Waters Below, " an image which describes a Truth about the world and our existence which is inexplicably comforting. 7.5" X 6"gouache and ink on handmade paper.  Also, exhibited for the first time in Israel: "THIS Making a Place for Peace", a painting that is a book. Margolis uses sequential visual narrative, fragile binding and difficult to decipher language to explore and negotiate the longing for security that consumes all the residents of this region. About the process of creating this work, the artist  describes going to the studio trying NOT to think about the political situation that makes everyday life in Israel bristle with tension, grief, and anxiety. Once there she "makes  a place for peace,"  asking questions and creating images which explore the world, not as mundane, but as meaningful and Holy. 18 pages, 9” X 6” X 1.25” mixed media and collage, on paper.

Ken Goldman - STAMPED 1
"What is contemporary Jewish art?" asks Biennale initiator Rami Ozeri. "Our curators and exhibiting artists come from very different backgrounds and traditions. How can we find common ground from such varied interpretations? The Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art serves as the platform for both exhibition and debate. We hope that this celebration of contemporary Jewish art will become a regular fixture on the global Jewish art scene, taking place 
every two years in Jerusalem, the spiritual and creative center of the Jewish world."

Five Locations

• The two historic buildings undergoing renovation at the Achim Chasid complex at 45 Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem's German Colony neighborhood will host the Now exhibition, a combination of plastic arts curated by Oryan Galster and Porat Salomon, and performances by dance group Between Heaven and Earth curated by Ronen Yizhaki.  

The Now exhibition will deal with the tensions between movement and stagnation, progress and tradition, past and future- and the way they are manifested in the present. The venue will also showcase URAH VI, a 12 panel installation created especially for the Jerusalem Biennale by award-winning American painter and sculptor Tobi Kahn from his signature Sky and Water series. The acrylic on wood installation, being shown for the first time, features 12 panels measuring 10 inches x 7 ½ inches x 1 inch. 

• Award-winning photojournalist Ziv Koren will exhibit a selection of his photographs in a solo exhibition entitled Seventy Faces  curated by Rei Dishon and Urban Gallery at the recently-opened and restored First Station, Jerusalem's former railway station that is fast becoming a new center for culture, food and leisure, open 7 days a week.

• Curator of the Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art at Hechal Shlomo in central Jerusalem Nurit Sirkis-Bank will curate an exhibition for the Biennale entitled “My Soul Thirsts”  (Tsama' Nafshi, a reference to Psalm 63:2). The exhibition, which showcases a wide variety of works including abstract, figurative, textile and multi-dimensional, includes six pieces from graduates of the Oman art school for haredi women, a satellite of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Saphyr, a sculpture by Biennale participant Tobi Kahn that is on permanent loan to the Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art and relates to the counting of the Omer, will also be exhibited within the framework of the Jerusalem Biennale. 

• The Musrara (Morasha) neighborhood in central Jerusalem sits on the border between east and west, between the Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim and non-Orthodox neighborhoods in the south. Rami Ozeri, the driving force and initiator of the Biennale, will curate an exhibition in cooperation with the Muslala group, entitled Traditional that creates art in the public spaces of the neighborhood. 

• Thread of Gold at the cultural center of Beit Avi-Chai is a joint exhibition showcasing Israeli artist and musician Neta Elkayam and her artist father, Michael Elkayam. Father and daughter draw on each other’s work for inspiration, as Neta creates a connection and a conversation with her father’s Judaica art, sometimes tackling painful subjects such as politics, religion, Jewish-Moroccan identity versus Israeli identity and more.

Dozens of artists from Israel and abroad are taking part in the Biennale, including, among others, Andi Arnovitz, Lea Golda Holterman, Neta Elkayam, Raya Bruckenthal, Shulamit Etzyon, Shai Azoulay, Dov Abramson, Asher Dahan, Shimon Pinto, Israel Rabinowitz, Donny Silver and Tobi Kahn.  

Limited edition collectors’ items can be purchased online up to 26 August 2013, part of a crowdsourcing campaign that aims to include the Israeli and Diaspora public in this unique start-up venture. Special dance and music events will take place on selected evenings at the Emek Refaim venue and guided group tours are available with advance reservation. 

Biennale program subject to change. 

The Jerusalem Biennale is supported by Achim Chasid, the Leichtag Foundation and the Jerusalem Foundation.

Opening times:

Hol Hamoed (22 - 24 September): 10:00 - 21:00

Sundays-Thursdays 10:00 - 13:00 and 17:00 - 20:00

Fridays and holiday eves: 10:00 - 14:00

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