Community Based Activities
Studio Bank Curator: Hadas Kedar
Studio Bank Assistant Curator: Julia Yablonsky
At the base of Studio Bank is the idea of community. In the beginning of the project, I initiated community projects in the southern areas of the city. The first initiative was the organization of a summer camp for the children of the Elifelet Association. This activity led me to the comprehension that the artist community should be first strengthened - even before doing outdoor activities. This led to two intra-community formats of Studio Bank: one was exhibitions based on collaboration with the community surrounding the building that was intensified in "Ben Yehuda Strasse" (2019) curated by Hadas Kedar and revolved around collaborations between artists and owners of shops and small businesses in the area, as well as the exhibition “Helpful as Administering Medication to the Dead” curated by Julia Yablonsky, that focused on the area’s roots in the history of Israeli culture.
The second format of intra-community activities was a series of meetings and activities of the building that included "Remont", evenings in which we renovated the interior of the building and its surroundings and a series of meetings in which we met the artists met among ourselves. One of the interesting meetings that took place in this framework revolved around the question of whether we should hire contractor workers for the benefit of cleaning the restrooms or should we bear the burden of cleaning our work environment. Some of the artists felt that the project, which was established from a collaborative-community perspective, could not afford to employ workers at minimum wage conditions and that we had to clean up the services for ourselves. Another part perceived Studio Bank as a workplace and did not see significance in who and under what conditions cleans the services. To me the discussion of the responsibility for cleaning the toilets was constitutive for us as a community.
This issue led me to think about the concept of community and the importance, when working with communities, to agree on issues of principle. Since the concept of community was at the heart of the Studio Bank project, I dwell on the concept and try to understand it in the specific context of the project.
One of the interesting things about the community aspect of Studio Bank is the tension between the need to organize and manage the activities of the building and a relaxed approach that allows space for artists to initiate activities. The tension between maintaining the project, giving a sense of having an address to the aspirations and distress of the artists in the building alongside releasing the reins and giving the possibility that the project would invent itself and its way was at the heart of Studio Bank.