Salon Beton 1
Curator: Hadas Kedar
Jennifer Abessira, Robert Unger, Uri Gershuni, Zvi Dekel, Israel Drori, Gudrun Widlok (Germany-Ghana), Alona Weiss (USA), Micheal Yacobson, Orit Ishay, Dana Lev Livnat (Permanent Vacation), Eldad Menuchin, Amichai Malki (France), Nuritaki Minami (USA), Guy Nardy, Sasha Flit, Merav Kamel and Culturaleadership Arad, Dr. Batya Roded, Arad Wind Instrument Orchestra, Prizma Theater (Dir. Michal Yehuda).
Art and Architecture Arad (International Residency Program)
Salon Beton event celebrates one of the most radical urban planning projects in the country's history. The establishment of the city of Arad in the mid-1960s attracted creative minds of the period who dealt with the question of how to adapt urban life to the desert. Today, 53 years after the city was founded, its inhabitants are left with a fascinating urban space, where the architecture and art tell the story of its founding.
Since rising to the ground, the city has become a magnet for experimental architecture and art projects. Whether the environmental sculpture of Igal Tumarkin located at the edge of the city or the communal spaces between residential buildings – Arad posed challenges for architects and artist to construct forms that will suit the climate and live in appeasement with the desert environment.
The first event in the Salon Beton series of public events deals with communal spaces as a place for creative action. The focus of the event is a series of ten climatic gardens designed by the landscape architect, winner of the Caravan Award, Zvi Dekel.
The initiator of the event is Hadas Kedar, curator of the Arad Art and Architecture artist residency program, which annually hosts about ten artists for periods of stay in the city. The program encourages artists to engage with the city's and surrounding properties and respond to them with artwork.
Salon Beton includes and outdoor photography exhibition showcasing artists who took part in the artist residency. Those who photographed the city, mainly focused on the Avishur neighborhood. The act of photography opens the field of vision giving presence to what is sometimes forgotten or lost sight of: the vegetation, pets, passers-by and the mundane events that take place everyday in the gardens.
The exhibition invites the audience to be experience the perspectives that the artists offer on the urban space in Arad. Salon Beton will begin with a tour led by architect Zvi Dekel. The tour will take place in the series of the Brutalist gardens built in the late 1960s, and will demonstrate how environmental sculpture is woven into a common living space. The tour with Dekel will be led by Israel Drori, who has been researching Dekel's work over the years. At the end of the tour, the two will invite Robert Unger and geographer Dr. Batya Roded, both residents of Arad, to participate in a conversation on art and public spaces.
On the occasion of Salon Beton, a garbage storage room has been transformed to a pop-up Gallery, where sculpture and video will be presented. The temporary exhibition is a collaboration between the artist Merav Kamel, who participated in the artist's residency program and a local girls' after school group.
The event is accompanied by a catalog that includes a text by Michael Jacobson on the climatic gardens; an interview with Zvi Dekel; a personal text by Guy Nardi about his childhood and adulthood experience in Arad; a text by Israel Drori that deals with the work of Zvi Dekel; original artwork by the artists Keren Benvenisti and Godron Widlock. The catalog also presents a selection of the works displayed in the Salon Beton exhibition that seek to remind us that art is not a tool for changing reality, but rather an invitation to look differently at the existing reality.
The catalog is designed by Public School.