Jerusalem Biennale: Unusual Museum & Arts

“Watershed” is theme of 3rd Jerusalem Biennale,

an international collection of Jewish Contemporary art,

comprised of 26 exhibitions in 9 venues,

running from October 1 – November 16.

One venue is the old Bezek Building on Chopin Street

Sign on Bezek building for Jerusalem Biennale

across from the Jerusalem Theater.

Homelands, reflections of the Jews of Islamic Lands,

Exhibit on Jews from Arab lands in Homeland art exhibit

was fascinating.

One descendant of Jews exiled from Arab lands,

Shy Abady, named his piece “Racial Profiling”

Racial Profiling (or Uncle Ezra, father and Nasser by Shy Abady

(or Uncle Ezra, Father and Gamal Abdel Nasser.)

Another fascinating venue was the

Museum of Underground Prisoners of British Mandate Palestine

Museum of the Underground Prisoners,

which was built in the 1860s, as part of the Russian Compound.

Underground Prisoners Museum

The sign above the entrance says

“Marinskoe podvorie or Maria’s Court.”

During the British Mandate,

Underground Prisoners Museum cell

with its bars and cells, this place

was known for its harsh treatment of Jews.

canvas of Barbara Hines in Jerusalem Bienelle

What a striking contrast with these

Jerusalem Israel art exhibit in Museum of Underground Prisoners in Jerusalem

works of contemporary art.

Kitchen in old Prison from British Mandate

No complaining about kitchens after seeing this one,

Cell and bed from British Mandate in Underground Prison Museum

or dorm mattresses either.

Underground Prisoner's Museum infirmary

This was the infirmary.

One of the exhibit’s “Watershed” moments

was the Balfour Declaration,

of November 2, 1917,

Balfour letter as part of art exhibit in Jerusalem Israel

 which was projected as part of this art piece.

It was located next to this

Commander's office British Mandate in Underground Prisoner's Museum

replica of the British Mandate office.

The contrast of old and new

is always a major theme in Jerusalem,

Cells at Prison for isolation prisoners Jerusalem Israel

but here it goes further as the isolation cells were

 used to show various videos of watershed moments.

In this former prison a room is dedicated as a memorial to

Memorial room in Underground Prisoners Museum in Jerusalem Israel

those fallen in establishing a state in the Jewish homeland.

Ropes with words of Hatikvah on wall in background Jerusalem Israel

The words of Hatikvah are on the wall

behind the hanging gallows,

Two Jews hung by British have special memorial near ropes where they were hung

and their photos are a few meters away.

Outside in the prison yard,

Yard of prison with Muslim prayer corner

 a corner designated for Muslim prayer.

British prison for Mandate prisoners Jewish & Moslem

The former prison, being used as an art gallery,

held some of my favorite pieces

made by Jewish Artists in America,

Jeffrey Brosk, Barabara Hines and George Tobolowsky.

Talking with them was also a pleasure,

as they explained their work.

It was recently announced

that this former prison will become the home of Galatz,

the IDF military radio station.

Please notice the construction fence on the left,

that leads to the new Bezalel Arts Campus.

So much more, but all there is time for now.

For more check, RJS Facebook photos 

and link to full Biennale website. 

And still more,

 the 9th year showcasing Jerusalem contemporary art

is the Jerusalem festival called Manofim  

The Shabbat Project held multiple events,

and the annual Oud Festival is beginning.

Jerusalem Israel annual Oud Festival

Another week of too much happening

on the Jerusalem, Israel streets

Ready for Winter

Often I am asked, “What are you going to write about?”

 This week it is a really good question,

as I am just back from a two-week trip to New York City,

where snow and large trees were falling and no one was quite ready for winter.

As always, taking a walk is the only way to see what is really happening.

Businesses are enclosing outside areas in preparation for winter.

A piece of bent metal next to its awning is all that remains of an enclosure

 that the city demolished this week at Yarok Yarok florist shop.

Did you hear about that from any protest group?

Sirens alerting a rocket attack sounded in Gush Dan

  were for a public safety drill;

however this week’s sirens in the south were for 40 missiles fired from Gaza.

A new flotilla heads toward Gaza and

shots were fired from Gaza at Israeli soldiers on patrol.

Perhaps that is how they get ready for ‘Arab Winter’?

I found that in Jerusalem,

signs for an Oud music festival

and an international karate competition are up.

They are changing the plantings in these flowers beds…again!

Someone has to be making a lot of money here, but that’s a whole other post.

The Shalits have gone home and the street has been cleaned up,

 but it will be a long time until

all the stickers

are gone from benches around the city.

Only the large chair and a banner remain on the sidewalk,

which seems to be a perfect background

to record your own rap song about Gilad Shalit.

Someone used a lot of tape to make many similar designs

  along the sidewalks on Azza Street.

You never know what you will find on the Jerusalem streets.

However, the really big news is

it started raining…no–pouring.

The protesters living in tents in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

  will find that Jerusalem winter wet weather is bone-chilling cold.

As the lightning and thunder continue,

 I’m glad I planned to go to the Jerusalem Knights next week.

This is a good night not to be out.

So glad to have the rain,

but are we really ready for winter?