Tel Aviv Art Museum

Yesterday, I spent 4 hours in the Tel Aviv Art Museum.  It was a amazing and immersive art experience.  On a late Monday afternoon, I had plenty of space to pleasantly enjoy the pieces.  It was a great collection of contemporary art.

Installations

A piece that really caught my eye was a plastic chandelier by Boaz Arad.  It is a collection of beautifully strung mundane objects such as clothing hangers, plastic fruit and fly swatters, arranged by color and into a decoration.  It seems like a really cool idea for a pinterest decoration. Just get all of the green and yellow items you can find at a thrift store or dollar store and create your own modern art chandelier.

There was room of artists that were given the subject: erase.  What they did with the subject was mind blowing. For one piece, an artist edited out Sunny Bear and Cassius Clay from a boxing match.  The result is two phantoms battling on a small screen.  The repetition and eerie ghost like figures is both beautiful and haunting.  It makes a person pause and meditate on how simply a historic event such as this fight can be forgotten.

In the middle of the museum is a installation by Tony Friedman.  It’s random objects hanging by strings.  There’s paper, fake foods and other things. it was a fun way to brighten up the otherwise plain walls.

One piece that was really moving was Gregory Schneider’s High Security Isolation.  I’m not sure how accurate the piece is.  However the scale seems realistic.  Either way, it makes one pause to reflect about the issue of isolation in prisons.  It’s a hot topic issue and this piece really makes a person want to understand the damage isolation can put on the brain.

Art Films

What took up most of my time was sitting and watching the art films.  I took my time to really watch the films but I noticed most people completely bypassed the films.  They simply saw it was a film and left.  This left me to wonder, why?

We have screens in front of us all day, but we don’t have patience to watch an art film?  I’ve watched like 4 youtube videos of dogs today.  My friend just posted 3 cat videos while he was on his computer at work. Every American is guilty of binge watching a bad TV show.

What makes a art film about creating another Jewish nation or rebuilding a war torn community for 5-15 minutes going to do to someone?  Why just walk away?  I think all too often people seem to look at art and just wander by without thinking about the context.  We go to art museums because it’s what cultured people do.  Are people getting enough out of the art?  Art is an immerse experience that is meant to rock the foundation of your soul.  For some reason, it gets lost in all the sightseeing.  We see it and then walk away without breathing it in. I’m guilty of this as well, but today I just realized how often I am

One was 30 minutes and the artist even designed the studio it was shown in.  It was an incredible film that people didn’t stay longer than 5 minutes to see.  I saw most of it.  “Bowl, Ball, Holes, Soul,” by Mika Rottenberg, takes you through yellow walls into a small theater.  We get welcomed into the eclectic and strange world of a woman with trashy make up and neon clothes as she goes through her day.  She lives in a room with a bear mattress and wires surround her.  A wire heats her water, wires connected to the tin foil folded on her toes and wires to her telephone, surround her in a coffin like room.  She lays there as random images and close up take the viewer in an out of this strange scene.  Then she gets up and goes to work on her scooter.  We are taken from the strange to the mundane.  The rest of the film is her calling out bingo numbers and close ups of the elderly stamping their cards and an obese woman falling in and out of sleep take this mundane scene and creates texture. I was fascinated at the juxtaposition of things we see all the time and random images.  It was an incredible piece.

Another room was a documentary of a artist explaining how he went into a neighborhood and just painted houses.  The mayor of a town asked him to make his tow vibrant despite the troubles the people were experiencing.  It just took some bright paint to change a dull scene of broken down buildings to something eclectic and beautiful.  The artist gives a inspiring monologue about the importance of color and art.  The subtitles are in English as he speak Hebrew.

Then the last theater had a series of short films spanning from abstract art house to documentary. They are both intellectually and visually satisfying.

The last time I was this moved by an art museum was when I went to the D’Orangerie in Paris.  Monet’s Lilies in giant scales truly is a spiritual experience for any art lover.  It was a lovely afternoon I spent with some amazing art.

 

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