I normally don't write about exhibitions taking place outside the country. However, since it has become available virtually, I am happy to share with you some information about a unique artistic collaboration between the Israeli Bezalel Academy of Arts and the "Zaz Corner" Gallery in New York.
It was supposed to be an outdoor exhibit at the heart of Times Square in New York - an area where hundreds of thousands of people pass by every day and night, in an environment that reflects the culmination of consumer culture.
"ZAZ Corner" is a recently introduced digital gallery showcasing artwork on a large LED billboard in the heart of Times Square. Located at the corner of 41st Street and 7th Avenue in New York City. The billboard features a digitally activated screen with rotating images and videos that alternately morph. 'ZAZ Corner' aims to engage the public with visuals that are different from the urban environment. During the months of March and April, the ZAZ Corner artwork theme is “All About Us” with digital images of people, places that are modern interpretations of artists from around the world, bringing forth the universal community of art.
“All About Us” includes works curated by Lightbox Live in NYC, Bezalel Academy’s Screen Based Art Department in Jerusalem, and the Film Department of San Francisco Art Institute. Artists and perspectives from the US as well as Canada, Mexico, Israel, France, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, India, England, Serbia, Amsterdam, Turkey, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania and Hungary are all united in one place.
The Screen Based Arts of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, in collaboration with ZAZ CORNER presented by ZAZ 10 Times Square (ZAZ10TS) New York, and Gallery owner, curator and philanthropist Mrs. Tzili Charney, was chosen to represent Bezalel in a Video-art project, in which 20 video works by students and alumni of the "Screen Based Arts" were displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square New York.
The works were chosen with relation to the unique location where they are displayed, aiming to relate to the surroundings and the environment that in its core expresses the very essence of consumerism.
The festive opening event was supposed to take place about a week ago. The students excitedly anticipated the immense exposure, but at the same time New York was also beginning to take in the size of the spread of the corona virus. Manhattan's streets have been emptied of people. Museums, galleries, movie theaters, theaters, bars and restaurants have been closed. Yellow cabs and subways have been left without passengers, and the image that most of all reflects the pulsing hub of the city is Times Square Square.
In response curators Tsili Cherny and Sharon Balban, head of the video track at the Department of Screen Arts, have decided to continue to screen films on the Times Square screens, showcase art in the "real" space, while uploading in parallel the outdoor exhibition to the virtual world for viewing online. The exhibition is being displayed even at times when the square is empty of man looking forward to the better days, when the streets will be filled again with passersby. Until then, they are inviting you all to watch digitally and are already planning to present future works that are now being conceived during the Corona virus period.
The exhibition can be viewed virtually at ZAZ CORNER online. The Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts' Department of Screen Arts encourages contemporary and groundbreaking cinematic creation, in animation and new media, as an opportunity for personal and artistic expression. The department aims to teach the basics of cinematic language while at the same time exploring and developing principles for a different and unique new structure. The students and alumni in the department draw dozens of awards each year at festivals in Israel and around the world.
Sharon Balban, head of the video track, a graduate of Bezalel, has presented numerous exhibitions in Israel and abroad, winning awards including the The America Israel Foundation Scholarship, the Gesher Foundation Award, the Young Artist Award and the Creative Encouragement Award on behalf of the Ministry of Culture.
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