Art all night long

Tel Aviv's streets will be awash this Thursday with dozens of outdoor performances and art installations.

aquarium performance 298 (photo credit: Shahaf Haber)
aquarium performance 298
(photo credit: Shahaf Haber)
While the White Night music marathon [see preceding article] offers an exciting line-up of avant-garde music, the entire city of Tel Aviv will be brimming with art and culture for this Thursday's Layla Lavan. The White Night concept began in Paris and has since inspired spin-offs in Amsterdam, Montreal and St. Petersburg, among other cities. Tel Aviv will follow their lead on June 29, when all of the city's major art galleries and museums will stay open (admission free) into the wee hours of the morning, while theaters will add an extra late show. City streets will offer some of the evening's most interesting and spontaneous cultural offerings, with dozens of outdoor performances and art installations. Many will be concentrated on Rothschild Boulevard, with the tree-lined thoroughfare, normally full of hipsters enjoying the evening weather, serving as a vibrant art spot. Artists and musicians are prepared to line the strip with tents full of visual and performance art, live music and plenty of surprises for people of all ages. On this night, culture lovers can simply go out and walk toward the music to start a rich ambulatory evening full of art and fun. Layla Lavan coincides with the last installment of the Thursday night series Pishpesh Layla at the Jaffa flea market (Shuk Ha Pishpishim) - a lively event involving performance art, design, live music and more. Until 2 a.m., visitors will find special booths and the shuk's regular shops set up just for the Layla, displaying stylish designs ranging from fine modern furniture to colorful kitsch from the Seventies to wearable art by contemporary painter Adam Sher. At Pishpesh Layla, visitors will find quirky groupings of furniture and objects where they can relax, have a drink and enjoy the bands while people-watching throughout the shuk. Even though Tel Aviv never needs an excuse to stay up all night, there are multiple reasons for this circus of public art and fun, Tel Aviv's second Layla Lavan. The occasion marks the second anniversary of the designation by UNESCO (the United Nation's cultural branch) of Tel Aviv as a World Heritage Site for its synthesis of modern architecture and city planning with the unique culture and geography of Israel. Layla Lavan is based on the original Nuit Blanch, the French event named after the colloquial expression for a sleepless night, which carries the connotation in Hebrew as well. Because of the event's French roots, the French Cultural Institute is supporting this year's Layla Lavan as part of its current initiative to promote warmer Israeli-French relations. Layla Lavan will take place all over Tel Aviv the night of Thursday, June 29. For more information, visit Hebrew/SpecialEvents/2006WhiteNight/Index.htm.