Bat Yam, an Israeli city located on the Mediterranean coast, is often overshadowed by the glamor of other coastal cities such as Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Netanya. However in recent years, the city has begun to reclaim its name as an arena of artistic and cultural vibrancy.
Bat Yam is on a mission to promote cultural diversity, encourage original artwork, and most importantly, make art accessible to the general public. With the impressive three museum complex, the Museums of Bat Yam (MoBY), you could say they’re doing a pretty good job.
● The David Ben-Ari Museum for Contemporary Art ● The Rybak House ● The Sholem Asch Museum
The David Ben-Ari Museum for Contemporary Art is the main building which displays temporary exhibits, and holds community programs and academic conferences. The Rybak House and the Sholem Asch Museum are home to MoBY’s permanent collection. With such a diverse spread of spaces and artwork, you are guaranteed to find something that interests every type of art enthusiast.
What’s more, MoBY’s unique location, in the heart of a residential neighborhood, informs the museum’s commitment to community projects that aim to encourage the general public to interact with the world of contemporary art. As the role of contemporary art continuously evolves in the twenty-first century, MoBY’s activities address questions such as, “What is the role of the museum in a modern-democratic era?”
This dynamic approach to curating art manifests in open exchanges between artists, writers, critics and scholars, and has earned MoBY its role as a unique platform for creating and promoting emerging cultural dialogues.
While visiting MoBY you will see a number of fascinating exhibits. The most recent and notable of which include, “The Kids Want Communism” and “We Hereby Declare”.
The Kids Want Communism The Kids Want Communism is an ongoing joint project curated by well-known Tel Aviv art curator, Joshua Simon. The exhibition uses communism as a horizon to give new perspective to the world we live in today.
The first installment at MoBY consisted of seven different displays. In the central space on the ground floor of the museum, artist Ohad Meromi presented “Structure for Rest”, an installation whose purpose was for the public to rest their heads and fantasize about a different world.
The second floor featured the work of Raanan Harlap, “Public House”, an installment that turns the building inside out–the interior is decorated to look like the exterior of a public housing apartment, while the exterior is made to look like the interior of the apartment. Looking at the windows and shutters inverts the viewer’s perspective and creates the feeling as if the wall has become transparent.
We Hereby Declare Another notable recent exhibition at MoBY is “We Hereby Declare”, which won the 2016 Ministry of Culture Awards for Visual Art and Design.
The title of the exhibition is a direct quote from one of the most famous events to take place in an Israeli museum–the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel in 1948. As such, the exhibition is a celebration of the many achievements by Israeli contemporary artists, whose works have been awarded by the Ministry of Culture.
The exhibit encourages viewers to embrace the diversity between each artwork featured, as they relate to the relationship between art and the current state in Israel. It thereby addresses the modern cultural climate and conditions in which the works are displayed.
Want to visit?
If you are interested in experiencing the Museums of Bat Yam for yourself, here is all the relevant information: