By ASI GAL
Ah, autumn! The brown leaves, the air - cold enough for long shirts but not quite for jackets - and that morning smell of occasional night rain. Ok, so I'm thinking of autumn in a somewhat less humid country, maybe Cyprus. But you have to admit that the air is a little cooler at night.
The city of Herzliya, in conjunction with the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, presents in these autumn evenings the Herzliya Biennial - an extensive urban and nocturnal group arts show, held for a week in the city center, during the Succot holiday. "This event is perfect for Succot evenings," says Adi Englman, one of the curators of the exhibit. "The Herzliya municipality asked that the event take place during the second part of the day, so we decided that we want to turn it into a night event." Englman continued.
"As such the Biennial starts at six in the evening and ends at midnight, turning it into a combination of an exhibition and a night out." Englman explained, "The nighttime gave a different focus on the exhibit. If the event is held outside, there is an emphasis on lighting and the entire atmosphere becomes lounge-like. And the bonus is that it's all free."
The Biennial features a diverse array of new Israeli works, findings, inventions and sounds as well as works selected from Israeli art history. Joint curators Englman, Meir Kordevani and Toony Navok, are also editors and publishers of Picnic Magazine, an Israeli-based international publication of visual creation.
"We usually do not limit ourselves geographically, but it was the mayor's request that the Biennial revolves around Israeli art," says Kordevani. "Therefore, we explored Israeli art from all over the world. We found many Israelis who have hardly ever had shows in Israel and created a unique, unfamiliar collection of artists and their works. Also, we were very happy to receive funding from the municipality - the budget allowed the artists to create new works for the event so that we didn't have to choose from their existing works," he notes.
Some 50 Israeli artists, active in Israel and abroad, are participating in the event. Among them are Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Tai Shani, Noa Giniger, Nir Evron and Shachar Freddy Kislev. Their works are presented in 25 different locations: The Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, the New Municipal Gallery, the Ensemble House, the Herzliya Cinematheque, street arcades as well as other public and private locations around the city center. The exhibits are highly diverse and include an observatory built and devised by Hillel Roman, a sculptural piece installed in outdoor water basins by Shahar Yahalom, a video by Yael Davids made in collaboration with Belgian prison inmates and a light-and-sound show with Mediterranean music by Gilad Ratman, performed in the Apollonia National Park.
Alongside the art events there are music shows happening all over town. Choose from electronic, folk, experimental or rock concerts with bands such as No Moon, Bney Hama and Reines Girls. Other events include children's activities and free guided tours. "In general, we want to reach out to a new audience," Kordevani reveals, "We aimed the exhibit at everyone, not just art lovers."
The Biennial takes place between October 3-10, all over Herzliya. Admission to most events is free. For more information visit www.herzliya-biennial.com
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