Anna Ticho House is identified primarily with the legendary Jerusalem personality who spent much of her life assisting her husband in his eye clinic but is best known for her artistic output.
Anna Ticho died in 1980, and, today her downtown former abode serves as an offshoot of the Israel Museum and incorporates a restaurant as well. The attractively vaulted edifice normally displays some of Ticho’s fetching sketches and paintings and furniture but is currently dominated by works of a definitively contemporary – and younger – nature, which comprises the “Zoom 2016 Young Israeli Artists” exhibition. The show opened earlier this month and will run until the end of September.
It is something of a new departure for the museum’s offcampus facility, and Anna Ticho House curator Timna Zeligman says the name was a given. “We are zooming in on our best of the next generation of Israeli artists.”
Zeligman says she and her fellow panel members went for the crème de la crème of the emerging bunch.
“We chose 23 artists out of the graduates of all the arts schools around the country from the 2014 and 2015 graduate shows,” she says.
The aforementioned ‘we’ refers to the Zoom 2016 team which, in addition to Zeligman, included a high-powered lineup featuring the likes of project initiator Ghila Limon; project curator Tal Bechler; chief curator of the Fine Arts Wing of the Israel Museum, Mira Lapidot; and the museum’s Israeli art and photography curators Amiti Mendelsohn and Noam Gal.
Zeligman said the team members put a lot into the job and did their utmost to scan the full youthful scene.
“They went to all the [graduate] art shows and saw works by over 700 artists. They cut that down to around 70 and looked more carefully at their works, then to about half of that, and those artists were asked to the Israel Museum to present their work,” she recounts.
It sounds like the youngsters went through the mill and back.
Zeligman feels that the vetting process not only helped to achieve a high-quality exhibition but was also an important learning experience for the candidates themselves.
“For the artists, it was a fantastic opportunity. It meant that they could meet the curators rather than blindly sending in things which may or may not be seen; and it helped us really understand their art better,” she says.
Eventually the final roster of 23 was arrived at, and the jurors have clearly done a good job. The items on display inside the building, in the forecourt and in the old Yad Sarah building round the corner on Hanevi’im Street indicate that a bright artistic future awaits us. The exhibits come from a variety of disciplines and are fueled by a broad mindset stretch. There is ne’er a dull moment in the entire display, and the burgeoning creators feed off plainly unfettered lines of thought and emotion.
Take, for example, Inbal Egoz’s mixed media installation Flags, which comprises 15 dish dryer racks woven with thread in the colors of different flags. The latter represent the countries of origin of the children of immigrant workers who attend the Rogozin School in south Tel Aviv, near where Egoz lives. Egoz also currently has work on show at The Jerusalem Artists House.
Muslim artist Mahmood Kaiss weighs in with a sizable contribution to “Zoom 2016” in both a physical and an emotional sense. Bullet 387 is an enlarged replica of the titular piece of ammunition, and the numeral indicates the work’s length in centimeters. Viewed from a distance it gives the impression of a used case; but when you peer inside, you don’t see a hollow shell.
Instead, you are faced with an inverted cone. “The bullet has been turned inside, towards itself,” Zeligman explains.
There are intriguing offerings everywhere you look. Some of the highlights include Dor Zlekha Levy’s alluring Umbra sound and video installation, which was inspired by a formative musical experience Levy had at a mass that took place at the Great Mosque of Cordoba in southern Spain.
The most powerful impression one gets from “Zoom 2016” is a feeling of no-nonsense honesty and bravery displayed by all the contributors. They were all clearly ready to let it all hang out, warts and all, as exemplified by Tali Milstein’s oversized paintings, which exude some of the emotional anguish she went through in years gone by, and Nirit Takele’s starkly polychromic pictures that convey some of the trials, tribulations and disappointments she and other members of the Ethiopian community encountered after making it to the promised land.
And if the above doesn’t do it for you, then the Hannah_Land installation at the old Yad Sarah building will blow your mind. The work was created by the oldest artists in the lineup, 29-year-old Yaniv Amar and 39-year-old Limor Tamir, and feeds off the venue’s checkered history. It references Anna Ticho herself, a Russian immigrant couple who lived there for a while, and the philanthropic organization that has since relocated to a much grander home near Shaare Zedek Hospital. The intricate, rich and quite frankly disturbing props bring to mind legendary Italian fantasy-fueled filmmaker Federico Fellini.
Hannah Land addresses childlessness, gender issues, old age and consumerism; and the attention to detail is quite astounding. Prepared to be bowled over from every direction.
Zeligman says she hopes there will be more “Zooms” in years to come.
“What is really important about “Zoom 2016” is that we want Anna Ticho House to become a platform for young artists. This is the first time we have such a large group showing works here; it is so large in fact, that we couldn’t have everything inside. We hope that Anna Ticho House will become the place for young artists to exhibit,” she says.
The curator adds it is a two-way street and hopes the consumer flip side will evolve nicely as well.
“After the renovation work we did here last year, we very much want to keep on bringing in young people to visit the place and eat at the restaurant,” she says.
Should the “Zoom” exhibition beget a long display lineage, art lovers of all ages should have plenty to feed off all round.For more information: (02) 645- 3746 and http://www.imjnet.org.il/