Two heads of major European art museums will be arriving shortly in Israel as guests of the Second Mediterranean Biennale in Sakhnin.
The two, Jan Hoet and Joost Declerq, are prominent figures in the European art scene, and both will deliver addresses during the event.
Hoet, 77, who arrives on June 26, is the founder of the S.M.A.K., the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium, where he served as chief curator from 1975 until he retired in 2003. He then became artistic director for the MARTa Herford museum in Herford, Germany. In 1992 he curated the Documenta, one of the most important exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany.
Declercq, who will arrive on June 22, is the director of Belgium’s Dhondt-Dhaenens Museum since 2005. Since arriving at the museum he has promoted two main trends: research and exhibits of 20th century modern art, and operating as a contemporary art center. Artists who have been displayed at the museum since the changes began include Santiago Sierra, Gregor Schneider, Thomas Zipp and Thomas Hirschhorn.
The Biennale in Sakhnin, initiated and curated by artists Belu-Simion Fainaru and Avital Bar-Shay, has been open since mid-May. The event deals with the burning issues of the region under the title “Re-Orientation,” which, according to the Beinnale’s website, connects the concept of “Orient” with that of “new direction.”
The exhibits are taking place at various venues around the city, including City Hall, Sakhnin College, the Museum of Arabic Heritage, the headquarters of the Towns Association for Environmental Quality, and Doha Stadium, as well as in various private businesses.
Both Israeli and international artists are featured, among them Adel Abdessemed, Marina Abramovic, Micha Ullman, Nezaket Ekici, Moshe Gershuni, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou and Shirin Neshat.