If you could imagine another world, what would it look like? An upcoming exhibit
at the Bezalel/Yaffo 23 gallery is planning on asking just that. The exhibit,
called “Another World is Possible,” will feature 10 experimental films that hope
to make viewers start imagining.
The Bezalel/Yaffo 23 gallery is located
on the third floor of the Post Office building in central Jerusalem, in what
once was the city’s switchboard. The gallery opened a year ago and since then
has been providing what director and chief curator Roy Brand describes as “a
platform for artists to experiment.”
The gallery describes itself as “a
catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses and trends in contemporary
art, design and theory,” and “an exhibition space and a thinking pod [that]
devotes its energy and resources to activating the most important,
ground-breaking, challenging and exceptional creative practises of our
“We [the gallery] take ourselves to be cultural activists –
working in the interstice of several practices – philosophy, art, politics,
social activism and urban action,” explained Brand.
“We will report on
the state of the arts in Jerusalem, from as many perspectives as possible –
music, visual culture, politics, social structures, everyday life, philosophy,
religion, war – everything that has to do with the way life is lived in this
place in the present.”
According to Brand, the gallery provides something
unique on the Israeli arts scene. He describes the work as “highquality
“There’s a lot of thirst for places ... that are just
different,” he said. The gallery has already held six different exhibits, most
with international participation.
Unlike a traditional museum or gallery,
Bezalel/Yaffo 23 has no standing collection, and none of the works are for
sale. According to Brand, this sets the gallery apart and gives it much
more flexibility in the works that it shows. As well, its connection to the
Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design allows it to become a place of learning and
One of Brand’s goals is to build the gallery’s connection with
“We do a lot of work together with different elements in
Jerusalem... We want to get them involved in our framework, and
He says that people learn about the gallery mostly by
word-of-mouth, and that what he calls a “feedback loop” has developed between
the gallery and its patrons.
“It creates discourse,” he says. “People
start thinking about art in different ways, and some of it comes back to
FOR BRAND, it is important that the gallery show exhibits that are
relevant – and he thinks than an exhibit about imagination is particularly
“It’s a very applicable idea for where we are – to develop
political imagination,” he told The Jerusalem Post.
“Art can help us
imagine another possible world. We are suffering from imagination that is too
narrow – politically, aesthetically. People have stopped
The exhibit’s curator, Ma’ayan Amir, began working on
“Another World is Possible” two years ago – long before its subject captured the
entire country during the summer’s momentum of social activism.
the name long before the summer’s protests, and it amazes me to see the
connection,” she said.
The exhibit was developed with the sponsorship of
the New Israeli Foundation for Cinema and Television, which asked artists to
examine the relationship between experimental film and other forms of art,
including music, film and theater. Amir then chose 10 works based on her
interest in the initial proposals.
According to Amir, the works are very
different from one another, but share a focus on moments of detachment, wherein
the subject becomes separated from his words, his gestures or his own
voice. Describing the exhibit, Amir writes, “within a space of divided
representation that seems to take form in front of our eyes, the works appear
and we achieve the image of a society that has lost the ability to control the
images it creates for itself.”
She explained that the subject of the
exhibit came from within the works themselves, which show “a type of shift to
the space of imagination that artists can create.” The exhibit’s name, she said,
comes from a “wistful wish... that belongs to the realm of the
The works range from documentarystyle, like Rinat Kotler’s
, which documents freestyle rap battles around the country, to
fantastical, like Ehud Pishof’s Abduction
, in which human protagonists abduct
aliens. All 10 works will be shown continuously, each in its own space. Some are
conventional films, others are less traditional. For example, the installation
Let it Bleed
, by Rona Yaffman, documents her brother’s transformation from man
to woman, then later back to man, and is comprised of photos, sheets of iron, a
mummified cat, monitors and a projector screening family films.
hopes that her exhibit will get people thinking outside the box even after
leaving the gallery.
“Art has the ability to enable the shift from
something concrete to something imaginary – not just to re-enact the existing
world,” she said.
“You don’t go to an exhibit to find out something you
already know... a good exhibit makes an opening to a possible different
“[I hope] to awaken a desire to change something, to not have it
remain something passive – not just an experience of watching. Art has an
important role in society of creating new imaginings. When you do that, you can
change things.”‘Another World is Possible’ exhibit runs from September
27 through November 5. Admission is free.