The Protocols of the Youngsters of Bezalel
The summer 2010 issue is dedicated to students' works. Its front page is adorned with the work of Uria Bass, a second year student at the department of visual communication. At first glance this work would generate a smile, resulting from the colorfulness and the "sweetness" of the figures. A second glance would send the viewer to Takashi Murakami's 2005 "Little Boy" exhibition, thus challenging him or her with issues inherent to the tension between the original and originality. A third glance, however, would create a shock since all the components put together, namely the sweet pink, the atomic bomb ("Little Boy") and the Japanese trauma combined with the Jewish Holocaust (present here in the images of Auschwitz gate, prisoners uniform and yellow patch are all rather confusing). Only then the viewer will observe an unrecognized image, the artist's profile, hiding between the clouds, as if playing "hide and seek" with the viewer as well as with Murakami. The end product is both attractive and repulsive, creating a specific discomfort forcing us the think about politics, power, history and memory, cross cultural relations, aesthetic and ethics and the capability of art to bear this entire burden.
And so, Uria's work interweaves practice (though at the studio) with theory (of which the department of History and Theory is mainly in charge), technical skills and intellectual discourse, the personal place and the original act of art. In some respect the students' issues of History and Theory: The Protocols are the highlight of our activity since they give an arena to those coming from the fields of art with the intention of becoming influential in their fields.
The first part of this issue comprises eight papers which are elaborations of outstanding third year seminars at the department of History and Theory at Bezalel. In the English section one can find abstracts of seven papers, which were submitted in Hebrew. Avital Schreiber Levi's paper was originally submitted in English. In the second part one finds works tutored by various teachers: artists, curators and scholars. The third part is dedicated to students' works. Two of them appear both in the Hebrew and the English sections.