Highlights from Tel Aviv Art Weekend

Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Tel Aviv Art Weekend launched with a 24hr art marathon at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, where architecture practice Preston Scott Cohen has just completed the Herta and Paul Amir Building (pictured).
(Image credit: Amit Giron)

To celebrate the completion of three major cultural projects, which include a new building at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (opens in new tab) - an impressive concrete and glass structure, designed by Preston Scott Cohen (opens in new tab), which opened last November - a new wing at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (opens in new tab) and the newly renovated Habima National Theatre (opens in new tab), the city of Tel Aviv has declared 2012 'art year' (opens in new tab).  To kick-start proceedings, it laid on an opening weekend with a packed schedule of cultural activities.

The weekend launched with a 24hr art marathon at the museum. The free-of-charge program of exhibitions, workshops, artist talks and live performances, drew a huge crowd. Highlights included an Anselm Kiefer guided tour through his Breaking of the Vessels show and a vocal performance by The Lightfall, an African Hebrew choir from Jerusalem, who were placed on various floors of the new building to sing at midnight.

The outside public space around the museum and performing arts centre was also packed with a series of multi-disciplinary installations, such as Dreamfields Urban Innovators (opens in new tab) an interactive 3-D game, which harnessed the collective intelligence of players to place coloured cubes within an arena. An instant photo booth, by Ido Shemi, allowed people to turn themselves into comic-like screen savers.
 
As well as these big-scale events, the city was peppered with pop-up exhibitions, guerrilla galleries and open studios, which together offered a glimpse into the buzzing creative spirit of Tel Aviv. One such pop-up was FAD (which stands for fashion, art and design) - a 30 day concept store in the Florentine area that played host to the launch of the Wallpaper* City Guide to Tel Aviv (opens in new tab), showcasing the city's new cultural cachet.

In the south of the city, the former industrial neighbourhood of Kiryat Hamelacha (the working district) is now home to around 70 artist studios and galleries. The young creative community seems to be congregating here, where space is plentiful and rents are still reasonable. More established galleries are also beginning to relocate here, which indicates where the area is clearly headed. All weekend, specially arranged art tours stopped by the studios, allowing visitors to meet the artists and see them at work.

The newly redeveloped port at Jaffa, home to large warehouses, is a great place for studios and galleries and was worth a wander. Creative collectives, such as Four n Five (opens in new tab), work and exhibit there, while The Salon, a two-year-old permanent space, promotes the work of young Israeli artists.

Shadow Feedback

Key to the program was 'Shadow Feedback', by Boris Oicherman, for which real-time shadows of passersby were projected onto the Herta and Paul Amir Building

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Shadow Feedback

'Shadow Feedback', by Boris Oicherman

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

A Possibility of a City

'A Possibility of a City', by Team Etc, comprised a series of cardboard houses, displayed in the outside concourse of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

The Animation Project

The Animation Project of the Revolution Orchestra. This was a 30-minute show (repeated several times during the Art Year opening event), combining live music with animation created by young Israeli animators

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Terra Incognita

Elsewhere around town, we spotted 'Terra Incognita' by Tomer Sapir at the Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art. The young Tel Aviv artist creates cryptids, animals for which there is no scientific proof

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Tuff Enuf

'Tuff Enuf' by Israeli-born, New York-based Rona Yefman, shown at the Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Bed Installation

'Bed Installation' by Elisheva Levy. The performance was shown at Mazeh 9, where visitors were invited to put on pyjamas and get into bed and become part of the installation

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Beavory

'Beavory', by Keren Mack - a site-specific hand-drawn illustration in the stairwell at Mazeh 9

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

No Way Home

'No Way Home', by young artist Yotam Shifroni, shown at the Peila Foundation at the Amaid Centre, in the middle of the flea market in Jaffa. The space is used as a residence and studio for emerging talent

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Mass Und Macht 1

'Mass Und Macht 1', by Signor Gi, shown at the Peila Foundation

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Hidden

'Hidden' by Yotam Shifroni, also one of the artists in residence at the Peila Foundation

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

South Tel Aviv

Untitled, South Tel Aviv, by street artist Know Hope. Hope is considered one of Israel's most influential young artists and has worked all over the world

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

2000 Sparrows installation

Detail from '2000 Sparrows' installation, by Shira Zelwer. Made from wax and acrylic paint, each bird is around 10cm. The installation was shown in the artist's studio: Building 8, Kiryat Hamelacha, in the south of Tel Aviv

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Object No 4

'Object No 4' from the Mario Series by Ron Yosef, a member of the Four n Five design lab. The seat was made from an almond log, while the legs were the remains of a broken chair the artist was given by a local beggar, Mario

(Image credit: Amit Giron)

Design lab at Warehouse 2

Rotation moulded stool by Adi Zaffran. Part of the Four n Five design lab at Warehouse 2, Jaffa Port

(Image credit: Amit Giron)