Issue No. 9 - The Protocols of Bezalel’s Young, July 2008
The Audience’s Body and the Constitution of the Body Art Performance|
Author’s intention is to explain the role of the body of the body art performer and the body of the spectator in the constitution of the body art performances. In order to do this, he uses Nick Crossley’s concept reflexive body techniques, Georg H. Mead’s concept general other, and Alfred Schutz concept event in/on the body as the basic theoretical framework. Author makes a minor revision of Crossley’s reflexive body techniques, emphasising its possible inductiveness, which refers to indirect influence of reflex body techniques, used by one person, to another person. He believes that the body art performer by applying certain unpleasant, repulsive or disgusting, i. e. shocking reflexive body techniques on the surface of the body invokes a psychosomatic event in the bodies of the spectators. Only by experiencing such an event, the spectator is capable of deep contemplation of the body art performance.
Ibrahim Nubani: Assimilation, Camouflage and Schizophrenia - 8 Fragments|
This paper considers the paintings of Ibrahim Nubani (1960 - ), a Bezalel graduate, who has fallen into schizophrenia in 1989. I read the condition as the ultimate result of the long camouflage of his Arab identity, and the intensive course of assimilation into Jewish society. I interpret his schizophrenia as a signifier of the impossible split encompassed in Arab-Israeli-ness, and link it directly to the start of the first Intifada, Dec. 1988. The trajectory follows the transformation of his work from geometric structure into chaotic surfaces, foregrounds the eye images as the representation of castration, and his language as the doubleness of cultural history of Arabs and Jews in Palestine.
Exhibitions as Cultural Practices of Showing: Pedagogics|
Creating exhibitions today can be seen as an assembly of cultural practices that lead to certain displays. These displays are at once the presentation and performance of objects and structures. They place objects and subjects in a certain relationship to one another and are thus elements of communicative processes. They are founded in discourses and produce discourses, thus generating meaning.
Forget Your Desire: the Cinema of Guy Maddin|
In the cinema of Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, out-of-synch audio, incongruous eye line matches and awkward match-action editing undermine the primary melodramatic narrative. Dialogue is rerecorded in every picture, Vaseline is smeared on the camera lens for visual distortion, and Maddin regularly utilizes—or replicates the effect of—obsolete modes of film production such as super-8 film or two-strip Technicolor film stock. In his 1992 picture Careful, this results in a self-conscious amalgamation of incomplete early silent cinema and “talkie” references, Freudian eruptions, and postmodern irony. At once imbuing a singular emotional sincerity in his films, Maddin also freely appropriates his favorite images of silent cinema, parading their dated sexual politics and social mores. Maddin constructs a film history canon uniquely his own, cut and pasted from the best of German Expressionism, Russian Constructivism, and the American Avant-Garde. Using contemporary tools – tinting processes, digital video, nonlinear editing – in combination with established modes of film production, this article believes Maddin remakes a past borne of the future.
The site-specific, cross-cultural, collaborative art project known as ‘emplacements’ took place over three summers in St Petersburg. 1999 - 2003.
This paper tries to examine how cross-cultural curation was implemented and what strategies were necessary to ensure inclusion, what structures, physical, political and social, allowed art to be made around the city, how digital technology within the project affected the curatorial possibilities, and how the artist- curator functioned.
This paper describes the processes involved in the ‘emplacements’ project, examining the development over three years of ‘emplacements’ and how it fitted into the culture of St Petersburg. It uses the installation work of Gail Pearce as an example of how the artistic, technological and collaborative processes developed, as well as how the work itself was a response to three differing styles of curation.
The Big Aphanisis: from Time to Space and Vice Verse|
Dror K. Levi
The accelerated development of reproduction technologies in the 20th century engendered a deep and fundamental change in the modes of human societies' constructions of reality. Modern culture, founded on verbal discourse that is dependent on chronological, sequential time (necessary for the assimilation of speech and writing) began to revolve around a visual discourse characterized by spatial categories that permit the existence of simultaneity. The shifts in status of modes of visual representation and the construction of virtual reality (aided by technology and spurred on by the economic system) entailed processes of flattening, horizontality, density, immanence, mobility, and the obscuring of basic meaning. "Big Optics" (Virilio) with its instrumental power to transform distance and depth into an absolute surface create a situation of an absolute, dense, and non-hierarchical present that neutralizes any sense of cumulative experience – the final and blinding form of industrialization. This article wishes to view the decline of linguistic logic and the shift to a paradigm of visuality and space, in its pure, and much more radical form, than that which was observed by early Marxists in the deep processes that occurred within the capitalist system. This is the new logic of the modes of representation that the economic, political and cultural mechanisms of late capitalism have made dominant. Rem Koolhaas' "New Urbanism" is a response to the "overexposed city," to the virtualization of reality and the collapse of physical space into time.
The Violence in the Constitution of the Origin|
The topic of the article is the link between identity and memory in the art-exhibition of artist Eli Petel “Ha’Teva Ha’Mekory” (The Original Nature), and the new space the exhibition creates at the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion of Tel-Aviv Museum of Art. The article examines the formation of a renewed identity, as expressed trough social process the artist experiences on the individual and collective level, from an inter-generational prism.
The art of Eli Petel can be interpreted as exposing social power-relations, or as struggling against its interpellation as a part of the historically-rooted Jewish chain of signals. The article reveals both the artist’s view on societal changes as well as his internal identification processes which, on the one hand, correspond with the same changes, but on the other refuse to form a coherent political stand.
Design as a Polysystemic Semiotic Field|
Both at the level of the production and at the level of the reception, designed Object – object, product or project –relies on systems. Indeed, systems and their logic help define what the Object will be together with designers and users' relations to it. Moreover, systems and their logic reinforce the idea that taxonomies- which imply the organization of objects /projects into categories, are system-led.
In this paper, we will present three different systems. All three systems rely on the concept of sign and are therefore semiotic-based systems. Both independent and dependent from one another, they help present design as a polysystemic field and as such imply a reevaluation of its teaching/learning approaches.
Social Construction of Feminine Roles in Israel's First Decade: Mother vs. Whore
Ayellet Ben Ner
I first became interested in the early Israeli culture’s presentation of “the whore” as proof of prevalent power relations after reading Edward Said’s “Orientalism”, and to a great extent because of ideas presented in Itai Prost’s M.A thesis, “The Invisible Whores – Present Absentees in the Israeli Legal System”, supervised by Dr. Eyal Gross, which tackled the issue of the whore’s “concealment” in the legal system in light of verdicts dispended by it since its adoption of the British legal system’s definition to “an act of prostitution” of 1936 to 2002. Both Said and Prost focus on the determining nature of practices of thought, representation and image with relation to the essence of concepts. According to Said such practices constitute the Orient borne in the Western mind, while Prost sees the whore, whose image was influenced by the legal language and by cultural institutions, in that role. Indeed, the Israeli whore of the fifties was “privileged” with disregard or outright denial. Prost in his essay sought to examine both that disregard and the whore’s image as an absolute antithesis to that of the wife-mother, the latter lit, trim, encouraged and maybe even over-pampered during the state’s early existence, while the first was derelict, dark and mysterious to such an extent that even its very existence was questioned. Motherhood and prostitution, two opposite representation of female sexuality in light of society in the fifties are, therefore, the theme of this article.
Supervisor: Dr Orit Rozin
Cultural Criticism from the Frankfurt School to John Berger: Doron Solomons' Case
This paper presents a chronological survey of several cultural critics: the Frankfurt school (Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse) through Guy Debord and the Situationists, and John Berger. Its emphasis is on the development of the concept of Cultural Criticism and the disparities between high and low culture, the concept of Display and an analysis of the world of advertisement. Various perceptions of art definition are compared, together with the aesthetic and philosophical features of art in light of its socio-political context, as against the concept of the Media and the influence its values bring to bear on socio-political conditions. The last section constitutes an examination of a these issues through a test-case. I shall intreduce the video-artist Doron Solomon’s work, both as an artist and as a cultural critic operating in light of these themes.
Written under the supervision of Dr. Haim Lusky
Dogs in Art
My aim in this study is to present the wider issue embedded in the gap between the high art and the popular, or lower art, as evidenced in representations of The Dog.
Following a short survey of the dog’s history – how this animal emerged and evolved (emphasizing the linear relation between the evolvement of different types of dogs and the animal’s interaction with humans) – this work attempts to become a part of the discussion centering on higher and lower art: how the two are defined and characterized; is it really possible to distinguish between them; and, following from those, does the attribute ‘low’ turn a form of art into something ‘cheap’ or less appreciated? After detailing The Dog’s appearance in art throughout history – including contemporary art – through works of art of different periods in which The Dog is represented, I tried to determine whether The Dog image’s presence in a work of art ‘cheapens’ that work or, alternatively, is capable of ‘raising’ it. Is The Dog of central significance in art; does the image bestow another layer of meaning on the work; what does it signify or symbolize? A short chapter centers on dogs in photography (my own field of study).
Written under supervision of Dr. Ben Baruch Blich
Face, Façade and Fire: a Re-reading of Gerhard Richter’s Oeuvre
Examination of the semantic domain of Metaphor, Image, and myth and text fragments in Gerhardt Richter’s body of work constitutes this text’s analytic purpose, where the analytic point of origin is the artist’s performative act of demolition of 1962, when he destroyed all of his early Art Informale work in a public fire. Viewing Richter’s paintings through the prism of this violent act, clearly reminiscent of public burnings of books (such as conducted by the Nazis in 1933), one may interpret them as Splinter centered works. The Splinter mediates between the ‘old’ and embarrassing, and the ‘new’ and promising. Thus they are inseparable from our conception of History, collectively as well as personally speaking. The Splinter motif is here linked with the image of the ghostly fire lit face whose outline no longer reflects the boundary between subject and object, individual and community. The face is also a surface, a façade – the painter’s ultimate theme.
Written under supervision of Dr. Haim Lusky
Amos Guttman: Directing under Siege
The article deals with Amos Guttman’s feature films, ‘Afflicted’, ‘Bar 51’ and ‘Amazing Grace’. Argument has it that Israeli cinema is, on a whole, a cinema ‘under siege’. We, as Jews, feel that the whole world is against us and bent on destroying us. The feeling is much stronger among Holocaust survivors and second generation descendants. Amos Guttman was a film maker, a second generation descendant to Holocaust survivors and a self-proclaimed homosexual (at a time when homosexuality was considered much more of a deviation than it is today). His movies introduced a reality of outsiders, a world that existed parallel to the ‘real’ world of Tel-Aviv. He created an Israeli OUTSIDER cinema, afflicted with a threefold siege sensation: the siege on Israeli/Jewish society; the siege on the second generation descendant; and a siege on his identity as a homosexual. His movies are Camp, a style identified with homosexuality. However his is not traditional Camp. It contains siege elements, a darker, melancholic Camp dissimilar from the style’s mainstream.
What is the Siege Syndrome? What does it mean to be a second generation descendant? What is Camp? The paper tackles these questions and analyzes Guttman’s films through this threefold prism of Siege, Second Generation and Homosexuality. I view Guttman’s films in light of the threefold siege, where life for the outsider or the alien in Israeli society offers no reprieve.
Written under supervision of Dr. Dana Arieli-Horovitz
Schatz’s Bezalel: Between Zionist Icon and Hebraic Art
Jo Kim Bada
Bezalel, The Academy of Art and Design, first opened in 1906. Since then it has been rightly considered as Israel’s representative art institution. The founders of Zionism considered new Jewish art to be an integral part of the national struggle. They sought after a form of art that would form a new bond with a lost aspect of The Jew, rendering him into a new whole. Art was therefore assigned a national role. With its help, it was hoped, Zionism would be internalized, and past and present, individual and group, would become one. The foundation of Bezalel was therefore a prerequisite of ideological and propagandist requirements. Thus, Boris Schatz’s vision as the founder of Bezalel was intertwined with the financing Zionist leadership’s national vision. Bezalel was integrated into the desire to produce a visual Hebraic environment whose products, when sold throughout the Jewish world, would become a tool for Zionist propaganda.
Is Hebraic-art necessarily a Zionist icon and an Israeli art? When Schatz’ students drew symbolic landscape as a national icon, did they draw the new Israel? Such are the questions that this paper asks. Characterized here, through the symbols and icons that constitute it, is the artistic language in Schatz’ Bezalel.
Models of the World in the Brain: Some Speculations|
The Map as a Model:|
A map is not a “divine truth;” it is not reality itself; it is not objective - but, rather, a representation of reality which the maker of the map wishes to present. People who look at maps tend to be uncritical and they usually become more convinced in their opinions by looking at maps.
Daily exposure to the same form of cartographical presentation produces the tendency for the viewer to see it as “true reality. Even if there are no ulterior motives or conscious manipulations carried out by the mapmaker, by virtue of its being a culturally dependent graphic representation it transmits ideological messages like a story, film or drawing.
These ideas emphasized by a case study of the Jewish National Found - the “Blue Box”. The “Blue Box” was not only a container for the collection of coins and a central item in ceremonies which were developed under the inspiration of the JNF but also an important instrument for the broadcasting of a political-geographic message - the declaration: “This is our land.” The message was transmitted with the help of a map which was (and still is) drawn entitled “The Map of Eretz Yisrael” - a clearly, propagandistic map. The JNF people believed that the different maps would strengthen the positive image of the organization, and would make their projects seems more concrete on the maps - which were perceived as objective presentations of reality.
The Social Life of the Model|
The article deals with the art of making models as a popular and domiciliary kind of leisure-activity among workers and members of the lower middle-classes in Victorian Britain. The model, being an object that carries with him information about the world, as well as about his maker, had, during the second half of the 19th century, a social signification, or better to say: a “social life”. The vividness of the art of making models shades some new light on the study of leisure habits and confirms the emancipatory nature characterized the culture of “serious leisure” in the Victorian society.
New Models in Computation Theory|
A physical apparatus computing a mathematical function can be regarded as modeling or simulating some other reality, possibly physical, but could even be Platonistic mathematical reality. What is the relation between this model and the mathematical reality it simulates? This question could be stated more explicitly as: what is the set of mathematical functions this apparatus can compute, or is there a function computable using one model while non-computable using other models. Those questions relate to the famous and unsolvable riddle of the strange applicability of mathematics in physical science. Here we will try to clarify some of these questions while describing 3 well known models of computation: the analog, the digital, and the quantum
Image and Reality in Jerusalem's Models|
The article deals with current and historical models of Jerusalem. Four models are at the heart of discussion: Stephan Illes' 1873 model; a model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple period; the Jerusalem Center for Planning in Historic Cities model; and the models of different sites of Jerusalem in "Mini Israel". The article demonstrates how varied are the models' builders aims and targets are. It shows how models have been used for both practical and ideological purposes and how most of them are failing to represent the "actual" reality in historical and current Jerusalem.
Models in Science and in Science Teaching|
The first part of the article shows that models mean different things in different Sciences. In Physics and a number of other instances a model is an abstraction of reality which can be formulated in mathematical language. Sometimes the Mathematics goes along with visual images. These are less important for Scientists but may transform the model into an icon. (The planetary model of the atom, the DNA double helix)
In the second part we shall briefly discuss two different types of models
- one molecular, the other a model animal- and their uses in Science Teaching. In both cases we shall emphasize that models are to be used, not to be believed!