The dynamic, sometimes challenging, process of seeking truth, even in mundane matters, is connected at its core to a tradition of dispute. It is a uniquely Jewish path which empowers humankind’s quest to repair the world, and along the way, perhaps even find transcendence.
The theme for the Jerusalem Biennale 2019 is LeShem Shamayim (For Heaven’s Sake!). The phrase ‘for the sake of heaven’ is most famously associated with the text above. It puts an emphasis on the motivation of an act rather than on the act itself, and connects it with, of all things, arguments and disagreements.
This is not surprising considering that the central body of Jewish knowledge is the Talmud, which is not a codified book of laws or philosophical tenets but is essentially a record of rabbinic legal disputes and discussions. In it, minority arguments are given equal prominence alongside the rulings of the majority upon which practical Jewish law is based.
Discourse and discord lie at the heart of Jewish creativity – not necessarily closure and conflict resolution. Therein lies the spirit of Judaism and its engagement with the world in all its complexity.
It is for this diverse dialogue—spoken in the multi-layered language of the visual arts—that the Jerusalem Biennale seeks to create a platform.
The 4th edition of The Jerusalem Biennale will take place in November and December 2019 around the theme of LeShem Shamayim (For Heaven’s Sake!). Participating in this dialogue is not only the prerogative of Jews: In past Biennales, artists – Jewish and non-Jewish - from places as diverse as New Delhi, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Singapore added their creative voices to the discourse.
The Jerusalem Biennale is seeking institutions, artists’ groups and independent curators worldwide to submit proposals for the 4th edition of The Jerusalem Biennale. All proposals should be submitted not later than midnight October 31, 2018. The submission should consist of maximum of two pages, including the following information in short:
1. Project title
2. Name of the curator
3. Short description of the project
4. List of proposed participating artists
5. Jerusalem venue (optional)
6. List of participating organizations
7. Name and contact details of project’s organizer
Active links to relevant websites, including more information about the curator, participating artists, images of relevant artworks etc. can and should be incorporated in the document.
Can individual artists submit?
Yes, individual artists can submit to the Biennale. However, every proposal, including those of individual artists, must have a curator. Artists can not curate their own work. whether it is a solo exhibition, a project or a site-specific installation. The identity of the curator is an important consideration in the selection process.
What are the requirements to be eligible for the Biennale 2019?
The Jerusalem Biennale is open to professional artists and curators from all backgrounds, gender, religion, nationality, political orientation etc. Curators must present in their proposal, among other things, the connection between the work and the jewish world of content and relevancy to the Jewish discourse.
When is the submission deadline?
October 31, 2018.
How can students visit the Biennale?
There are two options:
1. The Biennale encourages students to visit through tours, self-funded, organized and coordinated by The Jerusalem Biennale tour program and the given school.
2. The Biennale sponsors a fully funded program called the Inspire Education Program for underserved youth in Israel’s geographic and social periphery who are all arts studies majors.