Laboratory Report: Group Exhibit at the Gush Dan Sewage Purification Plant
Written by: Ayelet Dekel
Laboratory report – the very words send chills down my spine, recalling high school science labs and those unforgiving deadlines looming. Fast forward a few years or so, and art and science are no longer sitting on opposite sides of the cafeteria. We’ve long since acknowledged that while the end results are very different, artists and scientists have a great deal in common in terms of their creative process. The urge to experiment is central to the contemporary art scene, affecting the approach and methods of creating art, the kind of works that are created, and even the venues, venturing into spaces that would appear to be the most unlikely places to encounter art – like a sewage purification plant.
The art exhibit Laboratory Report will open at the SHAFDAN (Gush Dan Sewage Purification Plant) on April 7, 2011. An encounter between art and science, the exhibit invites the viewer to re-examine not only our expectations of art, but our relationship to the ongoing processes of science that influence and form the underlying foundations of our daily lives, although we often remain oblivious to their existence and to the impact of our own choices and actions within that matrix.
Curator Galia Yahav says, “The Shafdan is an active chemistry lab – and it’s very beautiful. I see an analogy between the lab and an artist’s studio, a place of experimentation, a micro-cosmos of the chaotic life outside.” Viewing the artist’s work as “a kind of experiment that is presented to the viewer as a lab report,” Yahav’s perspective implies a different kind of art/viewer relationship, one of dialogue and interaction, rather than object/consumer. This dynamic relationship is also expressed in the choice to replace the traditional text of the curator’s essay on the exhibit with a video created by Yahav and Eitan Bouganim. Composed from sources which inspired Yahav in the course of her thought process, they are presented visually, to awaken their own associations in the viewer.
Twenty art works will be exhibited at various points, extending throughout the whole area of the Shafdan plant. The exhibiting artists include: Eitan Bouganim, Yiftach Bielski, Anat Batzer, Duprass (Liora Belford and Ido Govrin), Dror Daum, Itai Ziv, Shahar Freddy Kislev, Amit Levinger, Roi Menachem Markowitz, Shira Naphtali, Yoram Kupermintz, Gafrur Group (Gali Hachmon, Uri Levinson, Rufina Muraviova Lin), and Morag Yehudit Ruvenenko. The diverse selection includes: Itay Ziv’s simulation of a learning center where one is instructed in the process of becoming an artist, Amit Levinger’s video of a woman teaching a parrot to talk, a sound exhibit by Dofras, sculptural graffiti created from collected junk by the Gafrur group and something unexpected from Anat Batzer (no spoilers here – you’ll just have to discover this one for yourself).
Special events during the exhibit embrace the theoretical and the practical: a recycling workshop for old clothes on April 20 & 21 from 12:00 – 17:00, and a seminar on Society, Culture and Garbage, moderated by the artist Tsivi Geva, which will take place on April 21, 2011. The exhibit will be open for two weeks and will include several special events and daily activities: a bicycle tour on Friday, April 15th; daily ecological tours of the visitors’ center; rooms for children’s activities and briefings by the Council for a Beautiful Israel. The exhibit is open to the public free of charge.
The Shafdan is located in West Rishon LeZion (adjacent to Superland), on Maryland Blvd. The exhibit will be open to the public: April 7 – 17 from 9:30 – 19:00; April 20 & 21 from 9:30 – 22:00; Fridays from 10:00 – 14:00; Saturday evening from 19:00 – 23:00; closed festival eves & Shabbat. For further information: www.igudan.org.il, 03-7585858.