'Sleeping in our Beds' in a city that never sleeps

Artists in Tel Aviv reflect on how daily life is impacted by the uncertain reality of the Middle East.

Sleeping in our Beds 370 (photo credit: Tara Healey)
Sleeping in our Beds 370
(photo credit: Tara Healey)
In a century year old factory, young Israelis and internationals gathered on Tuesday night to contemplate the certain destruction of the lives they lead. In true Tel Aviv fashion, they lightened the mood with plenty of alcohol, music, and lively conversation.
The Tel Aviv Arts Council hosted the closing party for the exhibit “Sleeping in our Beds,” at the ArtStation Gallery in the trendy Tahana complex.The exhibit was a showcase of emerging Israeli artists reflecting on the tumultuous culture of Israeli society.
Yet while the art, artists, and gallery were all very much Israeli, Hebrew was not the dominant language. Around the gallery space, languages and accents from all over the world were discussing Israeli art.
The Tel Aviv Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together the best of Israeli art culture to the diverse international community of young professionals. “We have 10,000 young olim in a city of 400,000,” Jay Shultz, a co-founder told The Jerusalem Post. “We’re here to be part of the society and also to contribute to it.”
Shultz took great care to make the event “more than just an art gallery talk.” Around 250 tickets were sold online prior to the event. The event was sponsored by Stella Artois and featured music by Eran Hollander, a local Tel Aviv DJ. The music style of Hollander fit into the Israeli creative scene that the Arts Council looks to highlight. Known as a looping artist, Hollander creates all his music in the moment. He records his own voice and plays it in a continuous loop, layering it to create his sound. “I heard him in Jaffa and knew he would be perfect for this event,” Shultz said.
Billed as a “conversation with curators and artists,” the event allowed international art patrons a more in depth experience to understand the meaning behind the exhibit and how the artists contributed.
The title of the exhibit “Sleeping in our beds,” was taken from artist Yael Franks piece of the same name. Frank’s installation work uses silver confetti to cover the phrase “sleeping in our beds” and is only exposed in pieces by the use of a rotating industrial fan. Frank’s work leaves the question open of who is sleeping in our beds and who we are waking up to.
ArtStation Gallery co-owner Shiri Benartzi explained that as soon as she saw Franks work, she immediately wanted to create an exhibit around the idea. “’Sleeping in our beds’ came from the personal frustrations of what is going on in Israel,” Benartzi told The Jerusalem Post. “Everyday we go to sleep and wake up to a new reality.” Benartzi wanted to give a voice to what she calls the silent majority, the people working hard to build their careers and families, but never feeling certain about the future.
Doron Fishbain, a new artist of the gallery, juxtaposed innocent symbols of a family and a playground against the backdrop of an acid filled sky. He explained how his paintings reflected our everyday routine but that we live in a state of impending doom.
Tel Aviv artist Jonathan Goldman expressed his desire to “silence the noise,” in his work. He utilized chemistry glass wear and the movement of liquid to experiment with negating ones own expectation. Instead of hearing the sound of dripping liquid on glass, Goldman had rigged the piece to mute the sound. In some cases the dripping liquid triggered a light bulb, which caused illumination instead of noise.
Work by artist Dror Karta (Laura Kelly)
Work by artist Dror Karta (Laura Kelly)
A popular piece that attracted a lot of attention by artist Dror Karta was a cast of his own body with the head severed and placed in his lap. The arms of the sculpture held a gun turned in on itself. Karta wanted to make the point that if the end is near, there is no reason not to enjoy one's self.
Artist Ruth Oppenheim presented black and white scenery pictures from the Bedouin village in the Galilee where she currently resides. For Oppenheim, the decision to live in the village was “a way to escape reality.” Over the glass of the picture frame Oppenheim arranged bright, colorful geometric patterns to lighten up and beautify the piece. Although Oppenheim admits her stay in the village is only a temporary escape, she enjoys the exotic life far from her own reality.
As the alcohol ran down, and the fashion shows let out, the art crowd began to move on to their next destination for the night. Walking out of the gallery the Tahana was filled with the glamorous people that make up the Israeli art, fashion and music scene. Unfortunately storm clouds had rolled in, once again proving that in Israel, the good can also go hand in hand with the bad.