The Museum of the Contemporary Opens December 31, 2011


Mamuta at the Daniela Passal Art and Media Center and Hazira Habeintchumit present The Museum of the Contemporary with a festive opening on Saturday, December 31, 2011, from 13:00 – 17:00 at the El-Dan Building, 58 Madregot Habikur, Ein Karem, Jerusalem. Opening events will include performances by sala-manca (at 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00), Uri Katsenstein and Revital Potiol (16:30).

From the press release:
About the Museum of the Contemporary
The Museum of the Contemporary is an original platform created by Sala-Manca group, offering a new way of collecting and exhibiting art, founded upon the principals of sharing artistic contents that could be used to form art exhibitions. This is a first attempt to create a non-centralized model of sharing and exchanging artistic contents using the internet, in addition to holding exhibitions at the Mamuta venue.

About the exhibition
“If Mount Herzl is the mountain of remembrance or the mountain of Zionist historical consciousness, by way of /thanks to the line stretching between Yad Vashem and Israel’s national cemetery, then in the topography of Israeli remembrance, Ein Karem is the wadi of oblivion or the valley of Zionist historical subconscious. The New Museum of the Contemporary constitutes a new point on the map of institutions of Israeli consciousness, illustrating its three-dimensional triangle. Of the three points, the museum is the deepest point.” (Rodriguez, from the curatorial text of the museum’s inaugural exhibition)

The first exhibition produced at the Museum of the Contemporary’s physical space is an exhibition of Sala-Manca group. This is the group’s first exhibition since 2006. The exhibition will feature new sculptures, sound works and performances created especially for the exhibition, in conjunction with works created in collaboration with Hadas Ofrat, Vania Shaub, Noa Guez, Talia Tokatly and Mamuta collective. The exhibited works serve as a comment on local history, urban politics and the architectural structure in which the exhibition is held – an Arab house in Ein Karem located midway along the pilgrimage trail to the Church of the Visitation.  The building was declared absentee property by the State of Israel in 1948 and purchased by the artist Daniela Passal in 1972 who later donated it towards the establishment of an art centre – the Mamuta at the Daniela Passal Art and Media Centre, which have been operating on site since October 2009.

About the exhibited works
•    The façade of the Museum of the Contemporary will be marked by numbers similarly to the marking of buildings designated for demolishing in Jerusalem, as a comment on the attempts of real-estate and urban projects to “develop” the area against the residents’ wishes.
•    The central work addresses the location of the museum midway through the pilgrimage trail to the Church of Visitation, by constructing a wooden church in the museum’s main hall. This object will be a reproduction of an Eastern European church in/to the Arab village, which will serve as a platform for performances in Sala-Manca’s audiovisual tradition as well as performances by visiting artists.
•    Another sculptural interactive work dealing with the pastoral perception of Ein Karem, and the privatization processes taking over the landscape is the installation “Private View”, which frames and rents out Ein Karem’s pastoral landscape by installing typical “Tel Aviv” plastic blinds in the balcony of the house and barring/shutting them. For 5 NIS the blinds will open abruptly for 10 seconds, displaying a private view for profit.
•    “In Closed Doors”, a collaborative work with Hadas Ophrat, is exhibited in one of the museum’s spaces which will be accessible to the viewers upon request. Visitors could listen to a testimony of a Palestinian refugee from Ein Karem, preformed in the Hebrew translation in Hadas Ophrat’s voice.

Additional Events
In addition to the works, we will inaugurate Ein Karem’s digital archive; a polyphonic tour of Ein Karem, available for download; the souvenir shop which will hold souvenirs by artists operating in Mamuta and visiting artists curated by Talia Tokatly; a beginners spoken Arabic course – the Palestinian jargon, which will conducted free of charge.

The Collection
The collection features complete exhibitions that are available for download, which underwent a process of digitalization so as to gain their full quality after they have been downloaded in their respective formats (video, sound, photography, text etc.). After they have been downloaded, the exhibitions could then be displayed in the venues available to the secondary curators (those who chose to download the exhibitions) and the conditions they have at their disposal. The same exhibition could be displayed simultaneously by agents of completely dissimilar nature and financial means: as the exhibition will be displayed differently, and convey cultural and curatorial perceptions that reflect not only the perception of the exhibition’s curators, but also those of the secondary curators displaying it.

Opening days and hours: Monday and Wednesday from 11:00 to 14:00. Thursday and Saturday 14:00-17:00. Closing: 30.2.12

With the support of the Russel Berrie Foundation through the Jerusalem Foundation and the Ministry of Culture .