Bat Yam Art Museum Gets New Curator

Joshua Simon led protest against TA museum's method of selecting director.

Daniel Rauchwerger
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Daniel Rauchwerger

Joshua Simon, one of the leaders of this summer's protest against the Tel Aviv Museum of Art's method of selecting a new director, has now been named executive director and chief curator of the Bat Yam Museum for Contemporary Art.

Simon, 33, will replace Milana Gitzin-Adiram. She resigned in December after four years on the job, in part to protest the fact that while the museum's activity has grown, its budget has not.

Joshua Simon. He aims to expand work with foreign institutions.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Simon, a well-known figure in the Israeli art world, beat out some 30 other candidates for the job. The search committee said it gave him the nod due to his "local and international experience," including his work curating the first Herzliya Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2007.

Nevertheless, in light of his role in leading the protest against the selection of a new director for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the fact that a search committee comprised partly of Bat Yam municipal officials chose him to run that city's museum is somewhat surprising.

In addition to his work as a lecturer and consultant at various academic institutions, including the College of Management and the Open University, Simon has curated some 30 exhibitions in a variety of venues, including the Herzliya Museum and several local and overseas galleries, among them the Manhattan gallery Storefront for Art and Architecture. He is also a culture critic and serves as co-editor of Maayan, a journal of poetry, literature, art and ideas.

Gitzin-Adiram told Haaretz that she was pleased by the choice of Simon to replace her. Under her direction, the museum specialized in digital art, video art and installations, and she said she believed Simon would keep it at the cutting edge of the contemporary art scene.

Simon said Gitzin-Adiram's work was "challenging," and he expects some of his own plans to overlap with her ideas.

He said he hopes to expand the museum's cooperation with foreign institutions by making use of his extensive curating experience overseas, and he also plans to introduce multidisciplinary projects involving publishing, criticism, film and social science, as well as art.

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