Curator: Hadas Kedar
Jennifer Abessira and Julien Donada (France); Tal Granot; Orit Ishay; Sigalit Landau; Roy Menachem Markovich; New Mining Collective (Norway); Emilija Skarnulyte (Lithuania).
Art and Architecture Arad (International Residency Program)
The exhibition deals with the power of human agency that is conveyed ever more intensely within the context of performative interventions amongst urban environments. The contrast between the human body, especially of the feminine body, against man-made environments, strengthens the presence of the dynamic entity of the human and serves as a multifaceted reference to the relationship of the body with the political, the social, and with culture as a whole.
The exhibition is based on artwork that has been produced during the residency program Art and Architecture Arad in the city of Arad. Arad was founded in the 1960’s on the union between a utopian, modernist vision of a desert city and the Zionist surge of “blooming the desert”. The urban environment of Arad, with its phosphate industries, bleaching companies, Brutalist architecture, public art and its social housing, serves as a model of a Modernist colonial desert city of the mid 1960’s. The residency is continually developing an up-to-date visual lexicon of interventions in the city’s surroundings.
Brutalism, flourishing from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, descended from the modernist architectural movement of the early 20th century, The term originated from the French word for "raw" coined by Le Corbusier to describe his choice of material béton brut. During the 20th century, Brutalist architecture was adapted by worldwide governmental and institutional entities as a ‘fast and dirty’ building strategy for military bases, mines and polluting industries. Massive, fortress-like structures with exposed concrete constructions provided quick military and industrial urban centers, rapidly occupying natural lands. The presence of these powerful forces shaped the landscape and contributed to slowly diminishing natural resources and to climate change in our day and age.
The human body’s interaction with dystopian surroundings has been investigated in terms of urban planning, sociology and psychology, as in literature, music and film. The Trellick Tower in London is just one example of a Brutalist structure that served as inspiration for J.G. Ballard’s novel High Rise, in which society breaks into conflict and chaos in a self-contained concrete tower mass. The exhibition Human Resources focuses on artistic interventions that touch on the strength of the body amongst powerful structures thus promoting a civic and human rights discourse and encouraging citizens to become active and to participate in activities that object to the abuse of military and economic power over citizens.