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!

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