A new art exhibit at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem puts the tent – the symbol of the social protests now spreading across Europe and North America and which rocked Israel last summer – under the spotlight.
Called Tent Time, the exhibit at the Max and Iris Stern Gallery features the work of Israeli artists Ido Bruno and Yael Rubin, accompanied by the writings of university researchers.
Industrial designer Bruno’s installation of 420 tiny tents explores the role the tent has played throughout the country’s history: from the absorption camps of the 1950s, through the tents of the first settlers in the territories at Elon-Moreh, to the tent-village Arcadi Gaydamak constructed at Nitzanim to host families who fled the north during the Second Lebanon War. Bruno is a senior lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.
Artist Yael Rubin, a photographer focusing on society, captured the social protest’s characters and situations on camera, then enlarged the pictures and gave them three-dimensional volume.
“The exhibit reflects a new approach for the Stern Gallery, to present exhibits that correspond to social realities and promote artistic, cultural and intellectual dialogue. I hope this exhibit will stimulate academic discussion in the classroom and among the students,” said Hebrew University curator Michal Mor.
Alongside the works are academic papers expressing diverse views about the protest. Prof. Michael Shalev from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of Political Science analyzes the protest movement; Dr. Amos Goldberg from The Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry examines the contrast between the symbolic meanings of “the tent” and “the villa,” and doctoral student Hagar Hajaj-Berger from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology presents impressions of the “Land of Rothschild.”
“The social protest was led by students, and thus demands of the university to present an exhibition directly related to its students’ activities,” said Hebrew University Vice-President and Director-General Billy Shapira.