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Announcement
May 17, 2018

Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition 2018

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Haviv Kaptzon, Lapis Lazuli (video still), 2018.

60 Salame St.
Tel Aviv, Israel

6 Abulafia St.
Tel Aviv, Israel

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is pleased to announce the opening of the 2018 Master in Fine Arts thesis exhibition. The show is organized by Dr. Dor Guez, Head of the MFA program.

Showcasing work by: Maayan Boni, Gil-li Cohen, Adi Dahan, Flora Deborah, Sivan Elirazi, Chaya Hazan, Olivia Hild, Lisa Grosskopf, Joanna Jones, Haviv Kaptzon Sivan Lavie, Eti Levi, Daniel Lewitt, Benjamin Mecz, Kineret Haya Max, Sivan Reuven, Yasha Rozov, Elena Rotenberg, Shelly Reich, Guy Bernard Reichmann, Lior Shachar, Omer Sheizaf Yoav Weinfeld

An opening reception will be held between 7–10pm on Thursday, May 24. Press preview on May 23 at 11am. Dr. Guez will deliver a gallery talk on Sunday, May 27, at 2pm.

The MFA thesis exhibition encompasses a wide thematic range of works created in diverse mediums. The common thread in all the projects is a rising sensitivity towards the local context in which the artists work. Some of the projects explore sociopolitical issues, others look at the connection between art and science, or investigate the relationship between the private and the public, using performative means to address relations between the body and the public sphere. 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 norms. 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.

The MFA program was established in 2001 as a studio-based program, and it trains artists and prepares them to contribute to the art world. The two-year program maximizes the advantages of the program's location, and acts as an "incubator" that supports original, cohesive, inquisitive, and experimental works, which are presented in the final exhibition. In the last academic year, the curriculum focused on questions of place and localism. Our colloquium featured guests from different disciplines who discussed issues such as urban planning in “mixed cities” in Israel, gender and racialization, postcolonial aspects in global and local contexts, and more. Our guest list included: Chelsea Haines, Dimitris Alithinos, Chris Martin, Branden Wattenberg, Yael Bartana, Martin Piaček, Regine Basha, Derek Fordjour, Anissa Touati, Gannit Ankori, and more. The Bezalel MFA gallery held six thematic exhibitions, including a group exhibition that explored the national anthem from a critical perspective, the first solo 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.

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