Artists: Ruti De Vries, Drora Dominey, Orr Herz & Ira Shalit, Ayala Landow, Efrat Nir, Martha Firer, Lali Fruheling, Gabriel Klasmer and Gabi Kricheli
Curator: Elad Rosen
“They say golf is not a contact sport. Not the way we play it.” – Alice Cooper
Mini Golf Bat Yam is not only an exhibition of sculptures and environments, but also a full functioning miniature golf course available for the amusement of visitors to the museum. The course runs between one sculpture to another, as each sculpture acts as both artwork and putting station. Visitors can putt the ball into the hole, and continue to the next sculpture.
Today, after the widespread reception of installation art, an exhibition of contemporary sculpture is predestined to appear as a single unitary environment constituted of various sculptures.
In Mini Golf Bat Yam, this acknowledgment becomes the scenario of the exhibition – the sculpture exhibition is also a mini-golf course. The diverse group of artists offers materials and perspectives creating a course that aggregates from one sculpture to another, from one hole to the next. The playful interaction of the audience with the artworks on display, creates an additional dimension of involvement in the exhibition. Allowing the viewers to physically engage with the exhibition, they find themselves activated by the sculptures as they revolve around them, pass through them, duck, wave their hands, and pace in measured steps. Each sculpture becomes a motion-generating device choreographing the movements of the viewers-players.
As a mini-golf course, the exhibition offers a challenging game in which objects prompt participants to move, aim, and concentrate. In practice, the sculptures bring visitors both pleasure and frustration, enjoyment and disappointment, and even evoke a sense of triumph upon completion of the course and calculation of points between competing friends.
As an exhibition, Mini Golf Bat Yam is a combination of environmental sculpture, monuments, models, kinetic art, applied art, design of exercise machines, and relational aesthetics all fused together by situating a recreational sport in a museum art context.
Mini Golf Bat Yam transforms the museum from a site for observation and reflection, into a playground; the audience is no longer a passive party moseying with their hands behind their back, looking at the artworks and nodding meaningfully. The exhibition invites people to join together in play and directly interact with the artworks.
Photo Credit: Gal Deren, Goni Riskin