Art in transit

Dada artists usually aim to destroy art world conventions - questioning what is art and where it belongs.

dada art 88 (photo credit: )
dada art 88
(photo credit: )
Even if you haven't made it to a museum in a while, it will be virtually impossible to avoid the unusual exhibition of kinetic art cruising all over Israel next week, from Sunday through Friday. It's the brainchild of conceptual and Dada artist Honi Amalgel, who often deals with Israeli culture in her art. Amalgel regularly shows her work in the Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod. But for this project she will use 500 public buses as the vehicle for display, forcing her work into the public eye. Dada artists usually aim to destroy art world conventions - questioning what is art and where it belongs. As a self-declared Dadaist, Amalgel's project carries on this practice. The side of a bus become an alternative form of a museum wall that circulates around the "real world," blurring the traditional boundary between art and life, and literally bringing art to the street. The images themselves - taken from 1967 Rosh Hashana greeting cards - play with the Dada idea of placing pictures in a fresh, somewhat random context. Amalgel chose existing images, not her own drawings, for the bus exhibition. She considers the images "ready-mades," the term used for works such as Marcel Duchamp's landmark Fountain, an urinal which he bought, turned on its side, signed and declared art back in 1917. Amalgel chose images of generals such as Dayan, Weizmann and Rabin, as well as tanks, planes and pretty female soldiers she found on "Happy New Year" cards from '67. Blown-up to fit the huge buses, the sight of these monumental heroes function like a "sudden flashback" for bystanders who lived through the Six Day War and witnessed the proliferation of these images 40 years ago, according to Amalgel. At that time, people were bombarded by these "pictures of victory," and the re-mixed pictures on the buses will be impossible to avoid as well. As conceptual art that "comes to you" instead of waiting in a museum for the visitor, the idea is that "you can't avoid art; it's part of life," says Amalgel. This may be the first museum exhibition installed on buses; even kinetic art doesn't roam around like this. Next Friday, June 1, the last day of the bus exhibition, Amalgel will reveal another show, this time inside the Janco Dada Museum. This exhibition will consist of the artist's own, alternative versions of the vintage Rosh Hashana cards. While these 20 works will continue the theme of military motivation and power, the artist chose to work with young male and female models whom she considers "very sexy." Back on the bus: on June 1, the vehicles will be provided for free rides to the museum in Ein Hod from Tel Aviv's Arlozorov Train Station at 10 a.m. Details at the Janco Dada Museum: (04) 984-2350.