Today (Tuesday) I visited the Jewish Museum, the museum of heritage I have ambivalent feelings about, my heritage.
Before visiting the museum, I checked out its website in order to look for hours and admissions. The website was very appealing and inviting, the pictures in it made me curious regarding what I will see in the museum. The museum was described as an art and culture museum. I was excited regarding the art that I’ll see there especially because of one of the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image“. This commands effected immensely on how Jewish art is like. Therefore, I was expecting to see mainly religious articles.
The first thing Guy and I run into after we entered the museum, was a thorough security check, it was a very Israeli thing to do and I felt home. The entrance was very bright and spacious we got our tickets and took the stairs. After the first staircase, we arrived in a space that looked as a contemporary art exhibition, unfortunately, it was open only for press. Disappointed, we kept going up until we arrived at the permanent exhibition hall on the 3rd floor.
This first space was gloomy, the walls were painted in dark colors and the light was dim. It combined heritage with political art pieces. One work that caught my eyes was a work by David Rive. What seemed at first glanced as an abstract drawing, was actually the map of Israel. Israel’s border was green amply on the border of Israel without the occupation areas.
The exhibition included humoristic works on the holocaust and some objects that were “rescued” from that period and an interactive work that included tables, headsets and buttons. All the tables were exactly the same except the fact that some worked and some not. The exhibition had no consistency.
The exhibition rooms felt very haywire, especially moving from one space to the next one was visually confusing. Each room had a very different design and aesthetics but the transition between them was not clear. What created an incomparable atmosphere.
As I was expected there were a lot of religious articles. I was very surprised to see one painting that lived in a room full of religious articles. The work had Christian aesthetic. The colors blue and red are very dominant here. In Christian Art red is associated with power and importance and blue colors symbolize heavenly grace. The Virgin Mary is often depicted wearing blue clothing. Blue also represents hope, good health and the state of servitude.
In this visit, I had a similar feeling of adopting western culture and habits in the aesthetics but it was not as powerful as I experienced at MOCA.
The best part of the museum was the sitting settings. In front of almost every video, there was the most appealing sitting object that has corresponded to the works around it. One example was in my favorite room – the television room. In which I got the strongest feeling that I will take with me from the museum. The dominant atmosphere was racism.
In addition, one thing that I found exceptional was having descriptions for artworks, usually, the little sign that escorting the work has information only regarding the year it was created the materials and the artist. I found that very helpful in understanding the works and why they were chosen to be part of the Jewish museum.
One thing I noticed was that there were museum guards in almost every room. It became very useful when I was looking for the restroom since it was almost impossible to find. Only after asking two different guards I could find it. There were no signs in order to help ones to find it on their own.
The Audience was mostly white women at their 70’s, and they had Jewish facial features. We were by far the youngest visitors.
Categories: Cabinets of Wonder