The Shenkar Laboratory at the Biennale of Crafts and Design at the Eretz Israel Museum

Eretz Israel Museum // Chaim Levanon 2, Tel Aviv

New! The Shenkar Laboratory: Frayed Edges – A New Exhibition at the Crafts and Design Biennale at the Eretz Israel Museum!

The Frayed Edges project from CIRTex: The David & Barbara Blumenthal Israel Center for Innovation and Research in Textiles – Shenkar, hosted at the Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts and Design, attempts to capture the alchemical process that occurs when an abstract idea is translated into textile material. CIRTex's activities include working with advanced manufacturing techniques, developing new materials, searching for new textile applications, and documenting the ecological impacts on the field. The future is already here—and CIRTex’s work represents its infrastructure. For now they print colors, but in the future they might print attributes: the ability to react to a change in temperature, for example, or respond to the presence of toxins, gases, viruses, and air pollution. Maybe in the future the garment will sense the presence of a virus and react by changing color, or by sending an alert to the wearer’s phone. The ability to interface with the fabric opens up a world of future possibilities.

Featuring: Amit El-Ad, Shlomit Ariel, Emma Margarita Erenst, Dana Ben Shalom, Nir Goldin, Netta Getta, Amit Giladi, Adi Gridish, Tamar Dgani, Lee Kidron, Hadass Himmelschein, Ofir Zmudjak, Ori Topaz, Roni Yeheskel, Allison Murray, Zohar Messeca-Fara, Ryan Porati, Merav Perez, Sarah Kostick, Gili Shahar and students from the Textile Design Department at Shenkar.

Ayelet Karmon, Managing Director of CIRTex and laboratory curator:

"Just as the laboratory at Shenkar is a research arena for the fields of science and engineering, our gallery space at the Biennale serves as an arena for experimenting in the world of arts and design. Smart materials are those that expand the range of their ability to react to the environment; that is, they sense what is in the environment and react to it and to each other. Moreover, they have the ability to do this reversibly: for example, a material might change to a certain color, return to its original color, and then change colors again. The system will sense changes using sensors based on electronic materials, synthetic materials, and more. The academy has a lab where this research is conducted for applied needs; in the gallery, we wanted to connect to its poetic side. In fact, the gallery created to display these groundbreaking inventions is a laboratory within a laboratory, formed in collaboration with the audience.”

Additionally, six textile designers—graduates of Shenkar—will weave, one after the other, on a loom brought in from the college for the exhibition and placed in the center of the space. The name of the work, Ligamenta, is a nod to the anatomical term: ligaments, bands of connective tissue in joints that connect bones to other bones. Ligaments are characterized by dense and organized tissue, quite like fabric.

The name implies both the form and the formation of the work during the period in which the exhibition is presented, as it grows just like a living body. Each of the weavers begins to work from a remnant prepared for her by the one who wove before her, and she creates a remnant for whoever will continue to weave after her. The performance is documented in real time by a camera, which then projects it on the back wall behind the loom, so the intimate act of weaving is clearly visible to visitors. 

The Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts and Design is an innovative museum project, held for the first time in Israel, which unites the various disciplines and breaks the boundaries of the physical material. This giant exhibition presents an up-to-date portrait of the fields of arts and design in Israel for the first time, with an emphasis on ceramics, glass, metalworking, textiles, and paper. Under the title First Person. Second Nature, the 2020 Biennale Exhibition features some 250 works, which present physical and conceptual raw materials related to the local and global cultural spheres.

The Biennale, held in collaboration with the Israel Designer Craftsmen's Association, various academic arts and design institutions, and the Tel Aviv Municipality, presents some 300 Israeli creators, artists identified with a particular material or medium, product designers, fashion designers, multidisciplinary artists, architects, and more.

The Eretz Israel Museum is a safe, open-air park museum. We are delighted to be part of the pilot program to open museums during the pandemic in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s “Purple Badge” guidelines.

Opening hours:

Monday, Wednesday 10:00-16:00 | Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-20:00 | Saturday 10:00-18:00 | Sunday, Friday – Closed

Photos: Tomer Applebaum

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