Artists: Anisa Ashkar, Adina Bar-On, Sharon Glazberg, Shay Id Alony, Shahar Marcus, Meir Tati, Public Movement
Curator: Milana Gitzin-Adiram
The exhibition transforms the concept of the Island into a tool for examining the limits and status of the museum and of performance art in the context of contemporary reality. The seven performance artists that participated in the exhibition took over various museum spaces, while simultaneously sharing their ongoing work processes. Viewers, who were welcomed at the museum during its regular opening hours, were invited to explore concerns including the museum’s role as an isolated cultural “lighthouse” or ivory tower, the limits of the museum as an institution, and the status of the artwork (if artworks indeed emerge out of the work process) as an organic, vital and unique entity.
The exhibition attempts to overturn the conventional order associated with the exhibition of art. Rather than presenting the conclusion of the artistic process – the moment in which the creative act ends and the work is complete – it highlights the creative process and the work’s evolution, in an attempt to introduce viewers into the artist’s private world and to involve them in his or her personal quest. Another central concern in the exhibition is the tension between traditional art forms, which are unchanging and seemingly eternal, and between performance art, which is bound by the limits of a specific time and place. The exhibition’s schedule of events and performances has been similarly adapted to the process unfolding in the museum space. Unique events took place once every two weeks, while the traditional opening night was replaced by an evening of performances on August 26, which marked the exhibition’s closing.
The island, as a concept, vacillates between a wild fantasy about freedom – a dream of a possible utopia and splendid isolation – and the destructive potential of its boundaries, which can transform it into an oppressive prison. The primal, animalistic, communal and political aspects of the island were revealed to viewers during the ongoing process of mounting the exhibition.