Jewish Contemporary Art Biennale Opens In Jerusalem (Photo Essay)

By BJLIfe/Sharon Altshul
Posted on 10/07/17

Jerusalem, Israel - Oct. 7, 2017 - The 3rd Jerusalem Biennale, a Jewish contemporary arts festival, founded and directed by Rami Ozeri, has grown, this year with over 200 participating international artists in multiple venues. After grand openings before Sukkos, it is set to run through November 16, 2017.

The theme "Watershed" has been developed in exhibits under various talented curators. "Water, Heart and Face" curated by Avital Naor Wexler is located in the Bezek Building on Chopin Street across from the Jerusalem Theater. Among exhibits in that main venue are "Homeland" which features works by Jewish descendants from Arab countries, produced by Lenore Mizrachi Cohen from Brooklyn, NY. 

"Dreamland Never Found" curated by Maria Veits, showcases artists born in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Russia, Georgia, and Tajikistan. 

Californians Lorraine Bubar, Karen Frimkes Wolff, Radi Matushevitz, and Cathy Weiss have crafted their pieces together under title of "Women's Work."  Also, in the Bezek Building, further down in its basement, "Vessels" by Ofer Gruenwald, combines bonsai and Jewish religious items. "Yad" is one piece,  a washing cup, and tefilin straps are used in others, where he tries to connect the "blatantly physical to the ethereally spiritual."

"Jerusalem Between Heaven and Earth" curated by Ori Soltes, is divided between two locations. Besides the Bezek Building, the Underground Prisoners Museum makes for another unusual gallery setting for multiple artists in various media. Jewish Artists in America, curated by Scott Peck, includes artists, Texans Jeffrey Brosk (wood), Barbara Hines (painted canvas), and George Tobolowsky (metal).

Another exhibit in the museum is "Balfour at 100" - a "watershed" moment in history. International artist Boedi Widjaja came from Singapore and gave a workshop demonstrating how his prints are produced. 

For a section of Indian participation, Hemavathy Guha came from India to curate and exhibit her piece, "An Umbrella for Peace." The solitary confinement section of the former British prison hosted videos concerning life in Budapest, one in each of the tiny cells. 

While the contrast of prison bars and walls, with art was impressive, also impressive, was the large sukkah by Avner Sher, which is located on top of the Tower of David Museum, visible to all near Jaffa Gate.

The photo essay includes artists and curators mentioned and a selection of pieces from this international exhibition.