The term “Site Specific” became over-used in the artistic jargon to the point of almost losing meaning. My own interest in it arises from my general interest in processes and mechanisms of learning: how do we gain knowledge about the world, as individuals and as society. I seek ways to put myself in situations of not knowing and having to “learn by doing”. For example, beginning with the unknown site, researching it, and producing work that is inseparable from the site. One consequence of this approach is re-thinking of the role and function of sites, and asking – what are they good for? why working in them? how artistic work is useful for them?
In the case of art exhibition sites, the question can be – how their function can be extended to have direct, tangible consequences outside of the artistic sphere?
The term “site” can be taken in a variety of meanings. A narrow one is a place, a location, a street corner, a room. A broader meaning of “site” can be an institution: a gallery, an art organisation, a city hall, a corporate company, a university. In the latter case the importance of the functionality of the site as an institution exceeds that of the physical site. The project “Turn Aside” merges the two: the site of the Artport gallery with that of the Faculty of Science of The Hebrew University in Givat Ram. The goal of my project in the university is to learn how collaborations between artists and scientists can lead to joint research projects that have consequences for both fields: how involvement of an artist can lead to new scientific knowledge, and how involvement of scientists can lead to new developments in arts. The goal of the project in the gallery is to learn how a its space can be turned into a platform for experimentation which is artistic and scientific at the same time.
“Turn Aside” is an experiment in doing experiments. Professor of neuroscience Eli Nelken, professor of chemistry David Avnir and Boris Oicherman will try to learn how to create an experiment by means of an artwork; how to set up an environment that will use the gallery as a site for a study that could not have been done without the non-disciplinary collaborative effort.Read more
Eli Nelken, David Avnir and Boris Oicherman
55 Ben Zvi Road, Tel Aviv
March 13th – April 19th, 2014