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Hadassa Goldvicht: Biblioscopia

  • Date iconApril 12 2024 - October 26 2024
  • Curator: Amitai Mendelsohn
          Assistant Curator: Elinor Zilberman
  • Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Kravis Gallery

Over the past few years, Hadassa Goldvicht has been documenting the steady emptying of the National Library’s storerooms, as its collection of books was being transferred from the Library’s historical residence on the Givat Ram University campus to an impressive, recently inaugurated building situated between the Knesset and the Israel Museum. Her complex, multi-channel, “symphonic” video work takes us on a journey deep into the bowels of the old library, where for years millions of books were making their way up and down an intricate system of conveyor belts, lifts, and openings, from the storerooms to the reading rooms and back down again.

As always in her works, Goldvicht doesn’t stop at the site itself but rather seeks out its human factor, incorporating the staff into her work as an integral part of the space she is documenting. The new library building makes use of state-of-the art technology, boasting of automated storerooms and robots for locating the books. In contrast, Goldvicht’s videos of the old library basements reveal glimpses of a human presence among the bookshelves and now obsolete machinery on the site.

While Goldvicht was working on this project, she had to undergo several MRI scans. The way in which the medical equipment documented her body had a strong impact on how she viewed the subject of her work: in Biblioscopia, the old library building and its collection become “patients” undergoing an architectural and cultural MRI. Goldvicht’s work takes us deep into the physical and spiritual infrastructure of Israel’s National Library – the intricate channels of our culture’s subconscious – and brings to light the wonders of human knowledge and culture hoarded in the library’s ever-growing body of books.


Exhibition made possible by

Evi Musher Schechter, Jaffa and New York
Martin Weyl Fund for Israeli Art, established by BFAMI, London
Hadassa Goldvicht, From the video installation Biblioscopia, 2022–23. Collection and © the artist


Hadassa Goldvicht, From the video installation Biblioscopia, 2022–23. Collection and © the artist