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PHOTOPOETICS explores the intersection of photography, video, art, and poetry. The project wishes to set in motion a discussion and exploration of the relationship and tension between the written word and the visual image. The experimental project is characteristic of Musrara Art School’s activity as a place for contemporary art at the heart of Jerusalem’s seam line – between East and West, a site of many existential experiences, identities and cultures.

In its 7th iteration, PHOTOPOETICS centers around Robert Musil’s novel The Man Without Qualities, written  before World War II. Avi Sabag, the head curator of the Musrara Art School Galleries, identifies parallels between the period in which the novel was written and today’s Israel, specifically the question of multiple identities that is so pertinent to the Middle East in general, and to Musrara neighborhood in particular.

איתי דויטש   בצלאל   Work by Eity Deutsch

The Morel Derfler Gallery features the exhibition Ulrich, which curator Ayelet Hashahar Cohen titled after the protagonist of The Man Without Qualities. While it was written almost a century ago, the social and cultural critical discourse evoked by the philosophical and psychological novel still rings true. “Ulrich” was chosen as codename for the works, in which the curator recognized an examination of the protagonist’s identity through the lens of the artists’ own personal biography.

The utopian and nihilist Ulrich goes on a journey in search of meaning and the right way to live, but in the meantime, spends his life as a man without qualities. The novel speaks to the existential aspect in every person conflicted with questions of identity, truth, and god. In this respect, the exhibition wishes to direct the question of identity to the viewers as well. After all, we are all, or at least some of us are, Ulrich. 

מלי דה-קאלו ילדה מתעופפת שמן ואקריליק על נייר כותנה1Mali De-Kalo