Adam’s Rock | Sep 2019- Feb 2020
A small island looms out the waters of Bat Yam. It is the peak of a chain of mountains that appeared above surface long ago. The island’s age- old name, “Adams’ Rock” is taken from a dateless tale. In it, the rock is said to lie at the back gate of heaven and is the very site onto which God banished Adam and Eve. There they are, an orphaned couple standing on the rock, holding on to one another for dear life. Cast between waters and wrapped in endless darkness. They look bewildered at the land that lies ahead. They jump in the water.
It is said that same strand of sand was destined to become the main harbor for Jewish refugees arriving by ship to the promised land in the first half of the previous century. “The Israeli Elise Island”. There she is, the giant lady with the torch. There is a legend that tells of schools of fish arriving to kiss Adam’s Rock as they pass on their way to all ends of the world. It is said local youths have a tradition of swimming out to the rock and jumping off as a sign to their coming of age. They say that before the earth broke into different plates, this entire land was submerged undersea. Some say that in the future, this landscape will vanish once again. Thousand-year-old anchors can be found to this day lying at the bottom of the water off the city shore. There they are, the shipmen and merchants, the men of the sea. Finishing off another day of emptying and loading goods, wobbling back to the ship. There they go rumbling off at sea. In a different time, Aris San will play the stage at The Club ‘Riviera’. The drunks will go a rumbling there too. It is said that the coastal area of Adam’s Rock was once considered a part of Jaffa Port. A recent local legend tells of a man who lived in a cave on the chalk cliffs of the city shoreline. They say he was buried alive when his cave collapsed. The locals called him “Tarzan” and his cave was known as “The Caveman’s tunnel” On the coast of Bat Yam, ancient relics dating back to The Stone Age were indeed found. From north and south, here come the ape-men, settling down between river and sea.
The artists taking part in the exhibition Adam’s Rock were invited to engage with esoteric, forgotten, and imagined narratives. The works they created address different periods in the history of the ground on which the city of Bat Yam stands today. It is common knowledge that notable chapters in the history of human evolution occurred in Israel. This grand narrative is one of many histories that do not receive substantial attention in contemporary public discourse in Israel. Today it is well known that history was written by winners and hence delivers a very partial story. If Wikipedia is more relevant today than the Encyclopedia, and the wisdom of the crowd is more credible than the expertise of a small few – we can acknowledge the untold histories and see them as part of the fabric of life. This is an open invitation to imagine the many histories that might have taken place here and the many futures that may come.
Exhibition Curator: Nogah Davidson
Head Curator, MoBY Museums: Hila Cohen Schneiderman
Artists: Nisan Almog, Michal Baror, Dorit Bialer, Anna bershtansky, Relli De Vries, Hadas Flayshman, Inbal Hoffman, Vera Korman Shir Lavi, Amit Levinger, Miriam Naeh, Shir Raz, Daniel Shufra, Orit Siman Tov, Meir Tati, Lia Tzigler, Maya Yadid, Ana Wild & Tal Gafny
With the kind support of: Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Hazira – Performance Art Arena. Doron Computer and Video Projections, The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Kelim Choreography Center, Israel Lottery Council for Culture and Arts, Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Tel Aviv