These days many of us are happy to gleefully traverse genre boundaries. While some prefer to know what they’re going to get when they slip into their evening wear and head out for a show, increasingly culture consumers are open to the idea of catching, say, a fusion of theater and dance, or classical music and video art.
That is very much behind the thinking of the upcoming Teder Town Fair, which will take place on September 21 to 23 at Romano House in Tel Aviv. Over the three days, members of the public will be able to enjoy all kinds of musical and other entertainment, in between trying their hand at a range of traditional funfair attractions. The official publicity description of the free event is “Three Days of Freaky Art & Weirdo Fun.” Enough said.
Teder has a bit of history.
“The original Teder started out in 2010 as a radio station and bar,” explains Dror Sher, the fair’s artistic director. “We ran it as a sort of pop-up for six years, each time at a different venue in Tel Aviv. After six years, Romano House became our fixed address. We fell in love with this building. It’s something special.”
Sher and Teder have also collaborated on cross-genre fare with the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
on several occasions. The venture may have led a peripatetic life, but the eclectic mindset has never wavered.
“The original format was a radio station for people, like us, who didn’t really like what they were hearing on other stations,” Sher explains. “All our friends were record collectors and DJs, and we wanted to start up a radio station – this was at a time when Internet radio started coming over here – for ourselves and our friends. We thought, ‘Let’s start up a radio station where people can come to have a beer,’ and it quickly grew up into something much bigger. But it whs always been about the content, oriented towards music. We have never been into PR at that kind of populist thing.”
Sher says it has always been about the quality.
“We have always been about offering things, including different genres of music, as a platform for a leisure time experience with a cultural agenda.”
Quality seems to be the name of the game for the Teder Town Fair too, with a lot of fun thrown in.
“This is the first time we are putting on this kind of event,” says Sher. “It is based on an American town fair format where you come and play all kinds of games.”
This takes in all kinds of yesteryear attractions, such as a high striker, a coconut shy and other such tried and tested fun stuff.
But it will be anything but straitlaced.
“You’ll come and play games and see shows, eat cotton candy and that sort of thing, but we offer a twist,” notes Sher. “All the stalls, like throwing rings or throwing a basketball or fortune telling, have been conceived and designed by a different artist.”
The latter take in some pretty big guns, the likes of celebrated Londonbased Israeli industrial designer Ron Arad and internationally renowned sculptor and video and installation artist Sigalit Landau.”
Naturally, Sher is pretty happy with the designer roster he managed to put together.
“Ron Arad is extremely busy, but he still found time for this. There are lots of artists in there whom you are not used to encountering outside the museum framework, artists whom you suddenly find engaging in a more popular form of art. We’re lucky to have them on board. We have some great local artists too, like Pilpeled, who is a street artist we work with a lot, and Yonil, our graphic designer,” he says.
For Sher and the rest of the fair organizers, this is not about art for art’s sake or just about having a wild time.
“The idea is to create something which, on the one hand, is very community oriented but also has a bona fide artistic agenda. The idea is to be somewhere between a fun fair and an art exhibition,” he explains.
Sounds like there will be added value for both.
“As far as we’re concerned, art doesn’t have to be like, OK now we’re in a museum and we’re consuming high culture and we’re doing that in a pure way. Or, now we’re at a punk rock gig, and we’re beating each other up,” he says.
Both are fine as far as Sher et al are concerned.
“All these things run across the same register. We want to mix all these things together with complete freedom,” he adds.
The collateral for the said socio-cultural philosophy has been embraced across the board.
“You get these big-name artists showing interest in what you’re doing, who are enthusiastic about following a less delineated route to present their art. That’s encouraging,” he says.
The sonic side of the program follows a similarly elastic path, with musical program honcho Eyal Talmudi, a pretty wild and woolly musician himself, devising a suitably diverse performer bill which takes in the likes of Ravid Kahalani, Boom Pam, Tzadik Zecharia and Victoria Hanna, not to mention Talmudi’s own high-energy Malox duo.
“There are all sorts of things on the program, from mainstream entertainment to more challenging things,” says Sher. “It would be great to have this become an annual event. Let’s have the first one and see how things go.”
The Teder Town Fair takes place September 21 to 23 at Romano House in Tel Aviv. Entrance to the fair is free, with nominal prices for the games. The program will run from noon to midnight daily. For more information: www.teder.fm