Prof. Ido Bruno Appointed Director of the Israel Museum
Jerusalem (October 25, 2017) — The Israel Museum announced today the appointment of professor Ido Bruno as the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director. Bruno currently serves as a professor in the Industrial Design Department of the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, Jerusalem. He brings to the position decades of experience as a curator and designer of exhibitions presented in Israel and across the world with a focus on art, archeology, science, and history. He was unanimously elected by the Museum’s Board of Directors, chaired by Isaac Molho, following an extensive search and review process of candidates from Israel and abroad. Bruno assumes his position at the Museum in November 2017.
"Ido has demonstrated uncompromising professionalism throughout his career and brings a depth of experience in the field from managing dozens of museum exhibitions and significant design projects," said Molho, “Ido has devoted many years to disseminating knowledge and culture in Israel and abroad, and has a deep understanding of the Israel Museum from collaborating on past initiatives, including the renewal of the Israel Museum’s campus. We look forward to enriching our institution with his commitment to scholarship and creative energy to reach new heights for the benefit of our visitors."
Ido Bruno has been a designer for 25 years and has taught at the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design since 1993. At the Israel Museum, Bruno designed the landmark presentation of Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey (2013), one of the most popular exhibitions ever presented in Israel. In 2009, he curated and designed Blue on White, which commemorated the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel’s independence and featured the original Israeli Declaration of Independence, among other documents that chronicled pivotal moments in the country’s establishment. Bruno, who lives and works in Jerusalem, was a significant member of the design team for the Museum’s three-year Renewal Project, completed in 2010, and was also responsible for the installation of sculptures in the Museum’s gallery spaces and renowned Billy Rose Art Garden. He succeeds Ayelet Shiloh Tamir, who was appointed Acting Director earlier this year. Shiloh Tamir will remain at the Museum as Deputy Director.
Bruno’s works and exhibitions have been presented at some of the most important institutions in Israel and abroad, including MUDAC Museum of Design and Applied Arts, Lausanne; the Design Museum, London; the Triennale, Milan; MoMA, New York; the National Library, Jerusalem; the Islamic Art Museum, Jerusalem; the Botanical Gardens, Jerusalem; the City of David Museum, Jerusalem; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem; the Tower of David Museum; the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, Jerusalem; and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, among others.
Bruno has served as a member of several committees of Israel’s Ministries of Culture and Education, and as a judge on award committees for art and design. Bruno was awarded the Minister of Culture’s Prize for Design in recognition of his design work in 2012.
"I would like to thank the Board of Directors and chairman Isaac Molho, for providing me the opportunity to manage one of the most important museums worldwide and advance its universal mission in the years to come," said Bruno, "It is an honor to partner with the Museum's incredibly talented staff in order to engage the public with its outstanding collection and resources. "
Bruno joins the Museum following the most dramatic growth since its founding. Museum attendance more than doubled over the course of the past two decades to 750,000 – 1,000,000 each year, and its endowments increased more than fivefold. The financial resources raised for the Museum were unprecedented and were also reflected in the overall physical and conceptual development of the Museum, which was reopened in 2010 after the completion of a $100-million renewal and expansion project. Today, the Israel Museum serves as a model for other encyclopedic museums worldwide.
Through March3, 2018
Exhibition Features Monumental Works
That Explore Relationship of the Individual to Society
Jerusalem (October 23, 2017) — Due to popular demand, the Israel Museum has announced that it is extending the dates for Ai Wei Wei: Maybe, Maybe Not through March 3, 2018. To date, the Museum has welcomed more than 350,000 visitors since the exhibition opening, marking an increase of nearly 20% in overall attendance.
“The overwhelming response of visitors in Israel to the exhibition has been very gratifying. They contribute an important perspective on the work, given the fragility of life in their region,” said Ai Weiwei. “Connections between people resonate throughout the exhibition, which poses critical questions on human rights, free expression, and the challenges facing refugees everywhere today. Thousands of visitors of all ages are grappling with these subjects in their own ways. Will this experience change how they think about the world around them? Maybe, maybe not… Will their lives be richer from this experience? I hope so.”
Uniting monumental works, the exhibition features a series of installations that examine notions of the one and the multitude and of the individual’s relationship to his or her broader social culture. Ai Weiwei: Maybe, Maybe Not premieres the artist’s monumentally-scaled Iron Trees – towering over 8 meters tall and weighing 14 tons – which greet visitors along the Museum’s promenade as they enter its landmark campus. Inside, a procession of iconic installations – including Sunflower Seeds, Trees, and Soft Ground – are presented together with complementary works by the artist.
Installed throughout the Museum’s Upper Galleries – and including examples of Ai’s signature wallpaper combining timely subjects and traditional motifs – the exhibition features the following large-scale works, among others:
- Sunflower Seeds (2010): This sprawling and iconic installation is comprised of millions of porcelain sunflower seeds, handcrafted and painted by artisans from Jingdezhen, China’s porcelain capital, whose history traces back to the Han dynasty. Appearing together as a unified field, each seed reflects the individuality of its creator as compared with the mass production often associated with Chinese manufacturing. Eating sunflower seeds is ubiquitous across both China and Israel, and the discarded husks that dot each landscape give testimony to centuries of common social behavior.
- Trees (2010): Referencing the ancient tradition of collecting dry wood in appreciation of its form, Ai’s grove of tree sculptures is comprised of dead roots, trunks, and branches the artist gathered in the mountains of southern China. The work combines different species to create a semblance of a tree, whose artifice is apparent only upon closer inspection. These towering structures encourage an appreciation for the individual elements that combine to make a whole, a recurring motif in Ai’s practice. In Jerusalem’s olive tree-dotted landscape, Trees creates a special resonance with the religious and social meanings of trees in Israel.
Extending this concept are Ai’s Iron Trees (2016), situated among the olive trees that line the Museum’s promenade and adorn its campus. Cast from nearly 100 fragments, held together by nuts and bolts, these sculptures the most ambitious outdoor work the artist has created to date, premiered in the landmark setting of the Museum’s Sculpture Garden, in front of its iconic Shrine of the Book, housing the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- Soft Ground (2009): Covering 250 square meters, this hand-woven carpet replicates in full detail the floor of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, commissioned by the Third Reich for the display of Nazi-approved art. Created in a weaving mill in Hebei province, it becomes a focal point for the intersection of the history of Chinese craftsmanship under imperial rule, modern history during the Nazi era, and labor practices in China today. Installed in the Israel Museum, Soft Ground also references the layering of Israel’s history from antiquity to the present and how this layering can change softly yet profoundly the meaning of place.
Maybe, Maybe Not is on view in Jeursalem at the same time that the Public Art Fund’s citywide initiative Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, makes its debut in New York City with a multi-site, multi-media exhibition for public spaces, monuments, buildings, transportation sites, and advertising platforms throughout the City’s five boroughs. The exhibition is also informed powerfully both by his own life experience and by the plight of displaced people worldwide today, as documented in his newly released film Human Flow.
About Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that also resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to installations, and from social media to documentaries, Ai uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values. Recent exhibitions include: Hansel and Gretel at Park Avenue Armory, Ai Weiwei. Libero at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, #SafePassage at Foam in Amsterdam, translocation - transformation at 21er Haus in Vienna, Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz in San Francisco.
Ai was born in Beijing in 1957 and currently resides and works in both Beijing and Berlin. Ai is the current Einstein Visiting Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), and he is the recipient of the 2015 Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation.
Ai Weiwei: Maybe, Maybe Not is curated by Mira Lapidot, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Fine Arts, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Cool Summer in the Museum:
The Israel Museum Unveils the Greatest Escape Room in Israel
The Israel Museum is free for children Tuesdays and Saturdays and every day during August. This is just part of a comprehensive summer program in the museum that includes an exhibition for the whole family about Cats and Dogs, a huge Escape Room that takes place across the entire Museum campus, Guided Tours for the whole family and plenty more.
For the first time in Israel, and as you have never experienced anywhere else, the Israel Museum changes escape rooms rules to bring you the Art of Escape; a game for the whole family that takes place across the entire Museum campus. The Art of Escape is considered the next generation of escape rooms and combines familiar classical elements, such as quizzes, puzzles and opening doors, with a story that will sweep visitors through the cross-cultural periods, and invite them to look closely at the museum's treasures, and new museum exhibits. The special map offers the first clue for visitors to assist them in their escape. The Art of Escape is open 6-25 August, Sunday-Friday, excluding the 22.8.
The Cats and Dogs exhibition also offers a refreshing, and unique experience for all the family. Visitors to the exhibition engage with, explore, and discover surprising and novel perspectives about our beloved the animals, and the deep bond between pet and human. Other works in the exhibition invite visitors to play, interact and even wag their tail, and introduce us to the cats and dogs we know from antiquity. All this takes place in the gallery; each animal with its own private corner, nestled in a shared space that highlights the animal’s relationships with each other within the broader system.
In addition to the Art of Escape the Museum hosts a variety of daily activities for the whole family that includes art workshops, story time, and Time Travel, an animated film especially created for children that reveals the mysterious world of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition to all these, our Cool Summer activities includes the exhibition Ai Weiwei; Maybe, Maybe Not and the Museum's permanent exhibits. On Tuesdays and Saturdays the Museum opens its doors for free to children and in August there is free entry for children the entire month.
In August the Museum extends opening hours, when on Tuesdays and Wednesdays the Museum is open from 10 am to 9 pm.
A host of other activities inspired by the exhibitions are open during the summer months including the Youth Wing Summer Activity Courtyard, From the Urban Jungle to the Home in conjunction with the exhibition Cats and Dogs. The play corners invite children to play, study and experiment in the animal theatre; the world of our beloved animals. Woof + Meow = Wow! - a cat and dog happening includes stories, plays, art workshops, lectures, movies, and even an option to adopt a dog or a cat yourself, a tour, My Family and Other Animals that will take you around the museum inspired by the exhibition, Recycling Workshops where the world of cats and dogs are created from recycled materials, and many other activities. Keep up to date on the many events, dates and times on the family events page.
The Art of Escape family map - 15 NIS
A summer courtyard From the Urban Jungle to the Home - NIS 15 per participant
Cat and Dog Happening - No additional charge on 22.8.17
Tours for the whole family: 15 NIS per participant
Workshop - 15 NIS per participant
Story hour - 15 NIS per participant
Israel Museum Debuts New Body of Work by Internationally Acclaimed Israeli Artist Ilit Azoulay
Features Large-Scale Photographic Collages that Reveal Unknown Stories Behind the Israel Museum’s Collection and History
Jerusalem (May 25, 2017) — A culmination of three years of on-site research at the Israel Museum, No Thing Dies premieres a new series of works by Israeli-based artist Ilit Azoulay. On view June 2 – October 28, 2017, the exhibition features large-scale digital collages that combine photographs of rarely seen objects and spaces inside the Museum, discovered by Azoulay after interviewing past and current curators, conservators, and archivists. Representing a web of stories and memories, the works are embedded with hidden layers of history relating to objects in the collection and the Israel Museum’s evolution since its founding in 1965.
“It’s been a rare privilege to work with an artist for such an extended period and provide unfettered access to the inner workings of our Museum as an integral element to Ilit’s creative process,” said Dr. Noam Gal, the Israel Museum’s Horace and Grace Goldsmith Curator of the Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography. “Ilit embarked on an excavation to unearth alternative narratives that are not apparent, but whose existence comprises the story of the Israel Museum. The result is a profound body of work that reflects the subconscious of an institution whose mission is to protect and share with the public the full breadth of world culture.”
In creating this series, Azoulay interviewed past and current Israel Museum staff members, using their testimonies as a guide for gathering information on rarely seen objects and spaces that carried special meaning for her subjects. Granted unprecedented freedom in exploring the Museum’s galleries and storerooms, Azoulay meticulously documented and catalogued objects from all facets of the Museum’s collections, ranging from Second Temple Period artifacts to African art to East Asian architecture. Utilizing the unique method of working for which she is known, Azoulay macro-photographed each object from numerous points of view, resulting in highly magnified depictions that she digitally combined into new works. The resulting images, printed and embellished with paper, wood, glass, and gold leaf, showcase the artist’s ability to transform rarely seen artifacts and seldom explored spaces into works of contemporary art.
The inspiration for the visual structure of the series is drawn from a collection of paper frames cut out from a book of Medieval Persian miniatures. Because the works were manipulated by their previous owner, they have never been on display at the Museum. Azoulay, inspired by both their form and content, photographed the frames and used them as dominant elements in her collages. Other aspects of her project were influenced by the miniatures themselves, including the positioning of figures, the textured quality of backgrounds and landscapes, and the presentation of narrative.
About Ilit Azoulay
Ilit Azoulay is considered one of the most internationally acclaimed artists working in Israel today. Recent exhibitions include A Seventh Option (2015) at Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York; Implicit Manifestation (2014) at Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya; Shifting Degrees of Certainty (2014) at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Linguistic Turn (2013) at Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv. Born in Israel in 1972, Azoulay received her BFA (1998) and MFA (2010) from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, and currently lives and works in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. She is the recipient of the Constantiner Photography Award for an Israeli Artist, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2011); the Israeli Culture and Sports Ministry Prize (2011); Mifal ha-Pais Foundation Grant (2013); and was among the finalists of the Pictet Prize for Contemporary Photography (2015).
No Thing Dies is curated by Dr. Noam Gal, the Israel Museum’s Horace and Grace Goldsmith Curator of the Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography. The project is supported by Outset Israel. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Ruth Kanner Theatre Group will present several live performances inside the exhibition, featuring recited segments of the interviews Azoulay conducted.
Exhibition of Works by Renowned Israeli Photographer Micha Bar-Am Documents Historical, Social, and Cultural Landscape of Israel During 1967
Ai Weiwei Exhibition Brings Monumental Installations to Israel Museum
|Chelsea Beroza / Arden Shwayder|
|The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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