Magasin III Jaffa and its inaugural exhibition zerubbabel, a solo show of Haim Steinbach’s work, is all about communication. With the creation of this new space there is the clear connective communication which now exists between Stockholm, where the Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art is located, and Tel Aviv. However, there are myriad more nuanced conversations created by this architecturally innovative space and its preliminary show.
“The area where Magasin III Jaffa is located has a rich and mixed history and we are very much looking forward to contributing to it and engaging with new audiences,” explained Karmit Galili, the General Manager of Magasin III Jaffa. Galili’s words are not a hollow promise. In fact, they are the entire premise on which the gallery has been established. David Neuman has expertly curated zerubbabel so that it can be viewed at night or day, from inside or outside. Dialogue between these dichotomies reveals itself through the gallery’s commentary on curation.
Magasin III Jaffa establishes associations between reading and seeing, ancient and contemporary, the gallery and the street, as well as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Bordering Jaffa’s flea market it is located in the epicenter of these three major religions in a neighborhood that embraces religious, economic and cultural diversity. The ancient street outside becomes a continuation of the exhibition in this contemporary European-owned space. Steinbach’s hallelujah (2017) is a vinyl decal of the word Supreme (a New York based cult skater brand) in Arabic, tucked into an alley parallel to the gallery. hallelujah and the piece navajo red blur the boundaries between gallery and street while fostering a relationship between the two.
“The promise of vernacular - in color, catch phrases, ad copy, figures of speech - makes communication seem effortless,” the gallery team explained. The collective fluency and social consciousness are challenged by Steinbach’s work, which subverts the original context of language by creating new associations for means of identification.
Notions of identification are explored in a series of works displaying Pantone colors on tin boxes and wall paintings. Pantone is known for the innovative system of identification it created to organize every shade, tone, and hue of the rainbow. Shuffling through Pantone paint swatches one notices different color codes are suggested for mixing to create a guide of which color communicates well with another. tuttifrutti (2016) creates a dialogue with other works in the gallery, like pantonecoolgray10 (2016) and with the scene just outside the large gallery windows. tuttifrutti unintentionally draws out the color from a neighboring apartments' shades and the font of a nearby falafel shop’s sign. It works inside and outside the gallery creating effortless communication.
Magasin III claims to believe “in the ability of art to challenge and inspire people and society,” and with this exhibition they’ve successfully manifested their mission in the Middle East. From Stockholm to Jaffa and many destinations in between, the gallery promises to foster a forum for communication.
zerubbabel is open at Magasin III Jaffa until May 19th, 2018.
Below are photos from Oh So Arty tours at Magasin III Jaffa. Take a tour with us!