Die Asporas | mix media group installations of young israeli artists in Berlin

Recent years have been marked with a rising trend of young Israeli artists who have immigrated to the city of Berlin, showing growing interest in its various cultural assets. To these individuals, Berlin's appeal is not only a matter of financial convenience and reassurance, but also a new cultural horizon.

The interaction with the German city provides a unique gateway, once again linking ancient European aesthetic traditions to local Israeli visual culture.
The young artists chosen to participate in the shows, acquired their formal education in Israel's central Academic art institutions (i.e Midrasha, Bezalel, Hirshberg academies).The discourse inside these institutions and more over, the dispute among them, exposes the evasive yet dominant clash between the rigid prevailing local traditions in the Israeli art scene and the rich pluralistic outside influences.

Bezalel academy - the first Israeli art institute, was conceived in Berlin (1905) by the Zionist movement. It attempted to formulate a new legacy of original Israeli visual arts and crafts, fused with imported European (mainly German) artistic traditions.
Pulsing this initiative were Jewish craftsmen, artists and architects who were invited by the Bezalel founders, to lead and structure the cultural tone of the newfound land. These brought with them the prevailing artistic themes in Europe at the time (i.e Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Jugenstil), which were now merged with Palestina's residing Near-Eastern traditions of craft, altogether formulating a hybrid style, meant to represent the "new Israel" - an exciting melting pot of east and west.
However, in the course of time this utopian vision could not coincide with Israel's turbulent nature and so subsequently, voices inside the art scene split between political contemporary conceptualism and European traditionalism.

Interestingly, the recent wave of immigration of Israelis to Berlin is many times understood not as a transition into a new unknown culture, but rather as a return to the landscape of their ancestors. But this cultural encounter does not always meet the expectations of these travelers. They are faced again with their own foreignness, which sheds new light on their own identity. Israelis perceive themselves in Israel as European (as exemplified by the participation of Israel in the Eurovision), but in Europe they constitute an Israeli diaspora.
The perspective of this exhibition stems from a recognition that might seem obvious, namely, that Israeli artists in Berlin are, in fact, foreigners from the Middle East, and that their point of view is one that looks at Europe from the outside, exhibiting ‘occidentalism’. These artists look at the visual sphere in Germany and interpret it from an instable point of view, lacking an authentic sense of home.

And so today in Berlin, coming back to where it all started, equipped with an impressive baggage of education and experience stemming from the tumultuous Israeli soil and with their hearts tapped to the pulse of the new global here and now, this new generation of Israeli artists will now attempt to fuse the forbidden poles of east/west, traditional/innovative, political/aesthetic and local/universal, once again from their new unique perspective.


And now