Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake!

Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake!

What a week in Jerusalem the weather was warm and wonderful.

Many things happened over the Sukkot holiday and even more after the holidays.

But the Jerusalem Biennale 2019,  לשם שמים – For Heaven’s Sake! with 500 pieces of art, by 200 artists in 13 locations began before Sukkot and is still going for another two weeks. The Jerusalem Biennale began in 2013,

grew in 2015,

and was bigger and better in 2017.

After posting a few Biennale photos, I received the following message from Hillel Smith, curator of the Jewish Street Art Festival at First Station:

Jerusalem First Station graffiti for Biennale

“As part of the Jewish Street Art Festival (more info at jewishstreetart.com) street artists from around the world painted 17 murals in three locations around Jerusalem. Besides First Station, we also painted at the Artists’ Colony and the Schechter Institute. All of our artists already work with Jewish themes in their art, and I wanted to highlight this effort by bringing them all together to paint at the Biennale. Unlike the other exhibitions, the art in ours was created on-site and will be permanently displayed, leaving a lasting mark on the city.”

Graffiti in Jerusalem First Station for Biennale

These murals are by artists Yitzchok Moully (reflective sukkah) and Solomon Sousa, of Machane Yehuda Market mural fame.

An 18th mural was being painted this week at First Station, by artist Bareket Kezwer. I didn’t get there to see her paint, but something to check out soon.

YMCA Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem YMCA is a new and prominent Biennale location.

Rafi Ozeri at YMCA for Jerusalem Biennale

The initial press tour began at the Y with founder and director Ram Ozeri explaining his vision.

Jerusalem YMCA art Biennale

Inside on one side of the old YMCA pool is an installation Waterfall’ by Marina Abramovic.

Jerusalem Israel 2019 Biennale art fish going against stream

Across from it are hundreds of hand-painted fish by Andi Lavine Arnovitz.

Art at YMCA Jerusalem Biennale

One fish flows in the opposite direction, in her installation titled ‘I’m Not’.

YMCA for Ziara Moroccan art Biennale

The main room in the YMCA hosts Ziara: Moroccan Common Wisdom.

Curator of Ziara at YMCA Jerusalem Biennale

Curator Amit Hai Cohen along with seventeen other artists of Moroccan descent display a wide range of contemporary pieces.

YMCA for Jerusalem Biennale

The Moroccan heritage of ziara, feeling of home, contrasts greatly with other Arab countries where Jews were persecuted and expelled.

Ziara Moroccan exhibition preparations

The day before the opening night, artists were busy at work.

YMCA Jerusalem Biennale exhibit

For the gala opening, it was colorful and ready.

Jerusalem YMCA Ziara Moroccan exhibit

Those glasses on the table filled with arak are not for drinking, but a piece by Marcelle Biton.

The smaller line of frames to the left are fascinating portraits. Check out the feature photo at top of this page for closer look.

There is still much more to share besides Ziara at the YMCA.

Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

The main lobby of Heichal Shlomo, by curator Dr. Shimon Lev, Evolve,

Heichal Shlomo Jerusalem Biennale

is a display of 100 works created over the past 3 years by Jean-Pierre Weill.

Jerusalem Biennale Israel artist Dahan

Upstairs in Heichal Shlomo is an exhibition on the life of Israel Dahan. His fifty years of work in creating Judaica and teaching Bezalel students are recognized.

Israelis are not the only ones featured in the Jerusalem Biennale.

Jerusalem Biennale Argentinian artists

Mirta Kupferminc curated Confrontation-Conversation with fellow Argentinian artists. Here she shows off the work of Jewish and not Jewish artists from Argentina with Dr. Ido Noy, deputy director of Biennale and editor of the impressive catalog for “For Heaven’s Sake.”

Heichal Shlomo Jerusalem Biennale artist used old encyclopedias

Also in Heichal Shlomo, everything from old Hebraica encyclopedias to

Rubber bands in "The Fall" art in Jerusalem Biennale

thousands of rubber bands are used to create unique pieces.

Art in Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

Female Waters curated by Rachel Verliebter is another exhibit in more traditional style.

Much more to see, in the other exhibitions in Heichal Shlomo, but we have to move along.

Jerusalem 2019 Biennale at Val Leer in Polonsky

As in the past, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – Polonsky Hall is an impressive site of Jerusalem Biennale, with Not in Heaven and Transcendence.

Jerusalem Biennale in Van Leer

Rachel Rotenberg has sculptures outside, plus this one inside Van Leer, as seen at the opening event.

Van Leer garden night of Jerusalem Biennale opening

Two boys caught my attention in the gardens filled with people, dancers, and art installations. I was wondering if an electronic game had captured their attention.

Oh my, all that and more we did in one afternoon!

Jerusalem Begin Center art for Biennale

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has Hebrew Suffragists:100 Years.

Menachem Begin Heritage Center art for Jerusalem Biennale

Experiments with Truth curated by Gargi Seth is downstairs featuring Indian artists.

Jerusalem 2019 Biennale

Not far away at Mishkenot Sha’ananim are the pieces In the East, where Ram Ozeri curated with Vera Pilpoul.

Jerusalem North African Heritage Center

One of the new and most dramatic locations for Biennale 2019 is the Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center.

Of Wonder exhibition at North African Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem for Biennale

Attending the opening of Of Wonder, was special as the curator artist Mindy Weisel is a friend.

Jerusalem Biennale art

One of the more difficult venues to access, the works here are by Israeli and American artists.

Curator and artists in Jerusalem Biennale

For American Jewish artists to have their works recognized and displayed in Jerusalem, Israel, is a dream come true.

American artist in Jerusalem for Biennale

The Jerusalem 2019 Biennale For Heaven’s Sake! from the colorful pieces,

Artist with paintings in Jerusalem Biennale

to the darker Holocaust shadowed pieces of art at North Africa Heritage Center,

Moully reflective sukka at Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

to the reflective sukkah outside Heichal Shlomo –

only a fraction of the art and artists on display until November 28, check out the website for more information: www.jerusalembiennale.org

Browse art all day. There is an entry fee of NIS 45 to the Biennale, with the one ticket allowing access to each of the exhibitions.

Then too tired to cook?

Not to worry.

OPENRESTAURANTS™ JERUSALEM – THE URBAN CULINARY FESTIVAL  runs from November 19 – 23, 2019. Many of Jerusalem’s finest restaurants have special offers.

What could be next in art and culture?

Zero One, a digital art festival will cover the Tower of David in lights from November 27-28, from 7:00 pm to midnight.

As always so much happening on the Jerusalem streets!

Top 10 Favorite New Jerusalem Street Art

In some places they are called graffiti,

but in Jerusalem, Israel,

there are wall drawings that are properly called art.

Jerusalem Street Art is constantly changing,

image old grafiti, photo street art

this scene could be called a classic,

colorful grafiti image, picture street art.

while this new one is colorful, bold and modern.

wall painted image, street art large wall photo, picture large grafiti

This one is near the Old City Walls.

When I saw it recently,

all I could think was, wow, I must share that one.

The cars at the bottom indicate the size of this masterpiece.

image graffiti, picture on street art on fence. photo street art

This piece by Jack was a favorite,

it was on the construction fence around First Station,

which has been removed.

image street art, picture graffiti on wall, photo street art.

But Jack has been busy with smaller works

image graffiti, street art picture, photo graffiti on fence

in many other Jerusalem locations.

street art image, picture graffiti on wall,photo street art

Look up on Jaffa Street to see this new one;

image street art, photo graffiti Jerusalem, picture street art

or down park paths for black and white,

image graffiti, street art picture, photo graffiti

as well as color drawings.

However, in a category of its own,

photo colorful street art, picture graffiti, image rebuilding temple in Jerusalem, Photo special graffiti

is this colorful piece called “One Day…”

which showed up on a wall in the center of Jerusalem.

What perfect timing for Hanukkah,

see this translation of the Hanukkah song  

מעוז צור    Ma’oz tzur:

My refuge my rock of salvation! ‘Tis pleasant to sing to your praises.

Let our house of prayer be restored. And there we will offer You our thanks.

When You will have utterly silenced the loud-mouthed foe.

Then we will celebrate with song and psalm the altar’s dedication.

Perhaps not politically correct, but sums today up nicely.

Israeli Election Top 10 Observations

With only hours to go until Israeli elections, many are still undecided,

but at least we now we are down to only 32 parties to select from.

With so many parties and candidates it is impossible to keep track,

so we decided to share just a few pre-election observations.

election sign Jerusalem photo

1. A “Bibi is a strong leader for Israel” poster is up in the spot

where Tzipi Livni was hanging just a couple of weeks ago.

Jerusalem photo campaign election

2. Bibi is good for the rich,

according to Shelly Yacimovich of Labor banners.

photo Zipi Hotovely

3. Zippi Hotovely is one of our favorite candidates,

she was often available to speak and so easy to photograph.

Jeremy Gimpel photo

4. In September, Jeremy Gimpel was campaigning for Anglo votes,

an old video comment got him roaring into the headlines this week.

photo Eli Yishai

5. Shas MK Eli Yishai took time out to meet with a group of AMIT

 supporters from US in his office even though they can not vote.

photo Chief rabbi Jerusalem photo

6. Chief rabbis are allowed to give brachot, blessings in person,

but a brachot ‘phone app’  before elections was ruled against the law.

election poster Jerusalem photo

7. A large banner for Naftali Bennent could be found in German Colony

Jerusalem photo, election poster

and a small green and blue sticker on this graffiti nose on Jaffa Street.

He is gaining popularity, but is he everyone’s brother as his ads read?

election sign Jerusalem picture

8. This is an old Moshe Feiglin sticker.

Interesting that he has kept a low profile this week.

election sign photo

9. So tomorrow is the time to decide which letters to put in the ballot box.

election sign Israel photo

Not going to bore you with all 32 letter combinations here,

I will leave that for someone else.

Predict what you want, but things can change quickly,

Avigdor Lieberman photo

just ask Avigdor Lieberman,

one day he was near the top and the next day out of the running.

Israeli election photo

In May, Dov Lipman was posing in the Knesset

with MK Amselem and heading Amselem Anglos group.

Today, Dov Lipman is running with Yair Lapid with Yesh Atid party.

And finally, 10. my favorite sign from this week,

sign Jerusalem Theater

a very clever ad for the Jerusalem Theater.

After the election noise quiets, it is time to subscribe for some culture.

At a recent class on Nevi’im, the Biblical prophets, our teacher mentioned,

a characteristic of a prophet is that victory is important over personal glory.

This election session personal egos seem to be a reason to run for office.

Let’s hope that after election day the winners and losers will indeed work

for the good of the people and the land of Israel.

Meanwhile, everyone also has to decide what to do tomorrow,

as Israeli election day is a day off from work.