Nahum Gutman Museum of Art - English מוזיאון נחום גוטמן לאמנות Image Map

Effervescence

11.04.13 - 17.08.13

The exhibition, book and accompanying events Effervescence - Housing, Language,  History  - A New Generation in Jewish-Arab Cities - are the first to focus on the Palestinian voice of Israel's bi-national cities and their inhabitants, citizens of the State of Israel. * The project gives expression, for the first time, to the significant and dynamic activity in the cities since the events of 2000, of committed artists, filmmakers and musicians; civil society organizations - associations, movements, groups, and activists; and to formal or radical organizing. The developing civil society, vibrant and teeming with new cultural initiatives, is striving to replace the old guard, to challenge the present and to influence the future.   As institutional exclusion, segregation and erasure from public space intensifies, so too does the struggle for change. Artists and activists are fighting to reduce the disparity; are struggling over housing, planning, education, budgets, the "right to the city," and to apply democracy to all residents of the state; and are exposing the Palestinian history of the cities' inhabitants and the Arabic language. These significant actions and increasing activism take place in parallel with the work of Israeli and Palestinian activists, artists and groups from Israel working in collaboration, or occasionally only Israelis (Jews) wishing to present the Palestinian voice and working to establish an egalitarian and democratic society.

 

Several aspects characterize activism and the artistic work associated with it. The first is the significant role of Palestinian and Israeli artists and activists. Second is the intense activity in the digital sphere (a significant element of activism) and in film and video - the moving image (the visual arts). Third is the attempt to present Arab history and language. For example the "phenomenon" of tours conducted in Palestinian cities that tell the Palestinian story, naming of streets in Arabic, or the increase in the visual arts that address the destruction of the Palestinian community and its culture and the loss of the modern urban Palestinian city in the wake of the Nakba. Fourth are the different modes of using archival material by artists who sometimes "cleanse" them of the archive's original aim. The fifth is exiting gallery space in exchange for action in the public sphere.

Another focus of the exhibition is truth and falsehood, and their role in entrenching narratives and memories. A number of artists cast a sober, critical and sometimes cynical eye at the way official history is recorded, and intentionally create a conscious or historical disruption. The manner in which awareness and the geographical and urban spaces in the cities are changing, together with the important role of artistic and cultural activism in matters of housing and urban planning, and the significant battle for housing and identity reflected in the music, are also present in the exhibition.

 

Manshiyah and Jaffa are highlighted in the exhibition due to their proximity to the Nachum Gutman Museum. The sea also plays a significant role - as a symbol of migration, expulsion, and the catastrophe that took place, but also as a shared space of encounter. Historical records - documents, photographs, and video - serve as a reference that gives the historical context, bringing into sharper focus the issues addressed by the exhibition.

 

* Arab citizens of Israel, including the artists and activists in the exhibition, define themselves as Palestinians as part of their struggle for identity.

 

Rona Sela

Exhibition Curator

 

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