Curator: Avi Sabag
Assisting Curator: Yael Brandt
The exhibition features Israeli artists, all of whom are alumni of Musrara - the Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art and Society, among them both recent graduates and those who completed their studies 20 years ago.
The exhibition links together a wide array of materials, from the biographies of students who came to study at the school and from the cultural and social space in which the school has been working from within the last 30 years.
It is a space of cultures and differences, identities in conflict, but at the same time it is a place of inclusion and a bridge between East and West; the ethos of the neighborhood that gave rise to the first social protest movement in Israel, the Black Panthers; its glorious past as an elegant Arab neighborhood which was abandoned with the outbreak of war in 1948 and which became an impoverished slum for Jews who arrived from Arab countries. All these elements are integrated into the students' work processes and in their development as artists who are aware and sensitive to the environment, who come from different places. Among them are native-born and immigrants, Arab minority Christians and Muslims, Jew residing in the settlements and Jews from all over Israel.
Over the years, a multifaceted human fabric has been woven together at the school that is constantly developing and connecting people who, together, are strengthening the processes towards building an open civil society of mutual respect and tolerance. The various works in the exhibition represent many levels of Israeli society, which are boldly revealed through the personal biographies of the artists themselves, through their internal perspectives and their curiosity, exposing a fascinating multicultural slice of Israeli society and of the young artists living in Israel today. It reflects the direction in which the art world must strive, to take a look at ourselves and at the environment that surrounds us, to examine the local and the personal, and to investigate the immediate space that inevitably leads to the global space. It is this constant tension that brings about tolerance and deeper understanding of the other, creating both a fascinating and rewarding experience.
Monday, December 5th, 5pm-7pm
JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave at 76th Street, New York, New York 10023, USA
Musrara, the Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art and Society was established in 1987 and is located in the heart of the picturesque Musrara neighborhood on the seam line between East and West Jerusalem - A borderline neighborhood both geographically and demographically, a cultural and social meeting point, a microcosm and a symbol of Israeli society, with a history of social protest. It is a higher education institute for interdisciplinary art, qualifying students for professional and artistic activities with a commitment to the community and social activism, based on the values of the state of Israel, and on Jerusalem as a multiple identity basis for authentic and experimental creativity.
The school has 160 enrolled students in its various departments. Its faculty is comprised of academics, interdisciplinary artists and social activists, amongst which are school graduates. The school operates 5 departments of a 3 year trajectory: Photography, New Media, New Music, Visual Communication, the department of Phototherapy.
Apart from the educational core activity, the school runs tens of photography projects for disadvantaged communities such as workshops for mentally and physically challenged children and at risk youth, weekly photography and art classes for adolescent level advancement pupils, a phototherapy program for senior citizens, workshops for Arab women from the Jerusalem periphery, special tours and workshops for educational groups such as IDF groups, tourists and more, 3 art galleries in the neighborhood, the international Musrara Mix Festival and the Musrara Residency Program. All this in complete synergy to its purpose as an art school, as students and graduates take active part in the programs.
These initiatives attract an audience of over 20,000 visitors a year.
The school and its founding director received the Enrique Kavlin Llife Achievement Award from the Israel Museum in 2011 for their contribution to photography in Israel and Jerusalem, the Martha Prize for Tolerance and Democratic Values in Jerusalem from the Jerusalem Foundation, and the Teddy Kollek award for public excellence. In 2012 the school was chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent Israel in the international biennial for photography in Amsterdam. In 2010 the school launched the “Musrara Collection” project, for which it was awarded the Zionist Creation Award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture.
Photograph © Avi Dabach
Dafna Meitar Nechmad (Co-Chair) | Marion Naggar (Co-Chair)| Guy Naggar | Michael Schwartz | Sue Schwartz | Yaacov Brandt | Ruth Cheshin | Alan Freeman | Michal Herzog | Eli Hurvitz | Shlomit Molho | Rivka Saker | Viviane Bregman | James Snyder | Tina Snyder | Ruth Zilkha | Andrea Meislin | Nizza Heyman |
Special Thanks: Joe Cohen, Alice Guttesman, Dafna Meitar Nechmad , Megan Whitman, Carole Zabar, Ravit Turjeman
External Relations: Dana Shahar
Exhibition production: Itzik Harush, Udi Assaf
Invitation & website design: Haya Sheffer »