This year, the exhibition was curated by Yitzhak Golombek and Barak Ravitz, and will be open to the public on HaMidrasha’s campus through September 10th. The student exhibition is an annual event that is a treat not only for the Beit Berl College community but for the Israeli artworld in general. For the participating students, it is a culmination of their studies and an opportunity to show their talent, to expose and be exposed. For the audience, it is an exciting combination between a large and dynamic group exhibition and dozens of one-person shows, offering a first encounter with refreshing new talent in the fields of drawing, sculpture, photography, performance art, video and sound.
Every year, the student exhibition marks the end of the artists’ structured learning phase and the beginning of their independent struggles within the art field. It is always the public peak at the end of an intensive final year of studies, and the climax of four years of ups and downs and personal development. During their four years at HaMidrasha, students undergo a challenging process; on the one hand they experience deep introspection and personal growth, and on the other hand – criticism, learning and improving the language of their art.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this personal and communal process was disrupted this year, and received an unexpected twist. The lockdown period, with its health and economic anxieties, is visible in the exhibition. Even if most of the works do not directly deal with this subject, and in fact appear to be ‘asymptomatic,’ the impact of the break in normal routines and the forced distancing simmers under the surface. Many of the student exhibits display a turning inwards towards the home, relationships or family, examining points of interface and friction with their art and art studies. Even in large-scale sculptures, one can easily detect residues from the period of incubation and lockdown. Many of the sculptures in the exhibition attest to complicated relationships with their past as smaller models made of inferior materials or as computerized images. Indeed, experiments and experiences from home found their way to the exhibition spaces; the kitchen oven, the balcony and even the bathroom were transformed into a studio.
Even during the days of social distancing and online learning, the HaMidrasha community – students and lecturers – insisted on remaining a place to meet. The students found a way to continue the tradition of “Thursday reviews” via Zoom. The rectangles on the computer screen were turned into exhibition spaces and bustling arenas. This atmosphere can also be felt in the student exhibition – individual spaces that come together into moving meeting places.
The multiplicity of arenas reflects HaMidrasha’s agenda. The Faculty of Art is a place that honors sensitivity, attentiveness and mutual responsibility, as well as cultural freedom that ties together people from different backgrounds and sectors of society. HaMidrasha is a home to all those who have a common dream to create art.
The Student Exhibition at Beit Berl College’s Faculty of Art-HaMidrasha is open until September 10th, Sunday-Thursday 12:00-20:00 and Friday 10:00-14:00. Tel.: *9121. For more information about the Faculty of Art-HaMidrasha: www.beitberl.ac.il/english