2018 Bezalel Thesis Exhibition - MFA | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

2018 Bezalel Thesis Exhibition - MFA


60 Salame St and 6 Abulafia St. Tel Aviv

Opening 25.5.2018

Closing 9.6.2018

More information and Invitation

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The 2018 Bezalel Master in Fine Arts thesis exhibition features 23 individual projects, which serve as another tier in an ongoing academic process that consists in studio visits, seminars, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions. In the last academic year, the curriculum focused on questions of place and localism. As part of the MFA colloquium, we invited guests from different disciplines to discuss issues such as urban planning in “mixed cities” in Israel, gender and racialization, postcolonial aspects in global and local contexts, a rereading of the historical ethos since the foundation of Israel, and more. Bezalel MFA gallery held six thematic exhibitions, including a group exhibition that explored the national anthem from a critical perspective, the first exhibition in Israel of the Turkish artist of Kurdish origin, Erkan Özgen whose works touch on immigration and refugeehood, and a group painting exhibition of MFA alumni titled “There Will be Nothing” that unfolded expressive representations of the reality in Israel.
Each of the exhibiting artists is a unique individual nucleus in the program, and accordingly, the thesis exhibition encompasses a wide thematic range of works created in diverse mediums –  from performance, through photography, video, and painting, sculpture to sound and installation. The key to creating and innovating in the field of contemporary art lies in understanding the intellectual depth of art and maximizing the specific conditions and advantages of the environment where the artist lives and the artwork is created. And so, it seems that the common thread that passes through all the projects is a rising sensitivity towards the local context in which the artists work. Some of the projects explore sociopolitical issues, examining different formats for disseminating knowledge, others look at the connection between art and science, or investigate the relationship between the private and the public, using performative means to address the relations between the body and the public sphere. The dynamic nature of the formation of national identity in Israel emerges as another theme in some of the projects, as does the immediate human and urban landscape of the MFA program, which is located on the seam between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Other projects delve into objects’ modes of production and cultural status or take on gender issues vis-à-vis Western cultural ideas. Questions about the economics of taste, style, and status are introduced by the use of overused generic images from the world of gaming, while another group confronts viewers with an array of images culled from the web.
An artist does not operate in a vacuum and art is forever informed by the place and the zeitgeist in which it is created. As they continue their artistic path, the responsibility of the community of artists graduating from the program this year is inevitably connected to being critical citizens who have a public platform and to the status of the work of art in the cultural field.
I would like to thank the administrative staff of the MFA program and the academy’s staff for their help and patience so needed in setting up an exhibition of this kind, to the MFA faculty for accompanying the students and for their contribution to the formulation of the various projects. My heartfelt thanks go to Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker for their continued support of the program, to Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Artis, Artport and to Meimeri-Fila for their support of the international seminars and our artist in residence program.

Dr. Dor Guez, Head of the Master in Fine Arts Program at Bezale