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9 Sep 2009 - 2 Oct 2009


Czech Centre Prague commemorates 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv by presentation of photographs by Yigal Gawze called Fragments of a Style and poster exhibition Czech-Israeli Identity.

The exhibition was organized by Czech Centre Prague in cooperation with Embassy of Israel in the Czech Republic and Faculty of Art and Design of the J. E. Purkyně University in the city of Usti nad Labem. It is held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Jan Fischer and supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals CR. The curator is Martina Zuzaňáková.


The impulse to the creation of photographs of Israeli photographer Yigal Gawze called Fragments of a Style was the specific architectural aesthetics of one of Tel Aviv’s neighborhoods called White City. White City is now the world’s largest urban neighborhoods built in the Internationalist style. Most of the buildings, number of which is now estimated at 4,000, were built in the 30’s of 20th century by German Jewish architects, graduates of the Bauhaus, who were forced to immigrate to Palestine after the rise of Nazism. Urban plan of the White City is the work of the Scottish biologist and town planner Sir Patrick Geddes.

Architecture of the White City is formally diverse, asymmetric unit in accordance to the contemporary requirements for functionality and simplicity. Due to different climate in Israel, the architects had to somehow revise classical Bauhaus formal scheme. The white facade, typical for European functionalism, had not only aesthetic function in Tel Aviv but it also prevented penetration of heat into the house. The outer walls provided not only protection from the outside world, but also from the omnipresent sun. Large glass areas, one of the most important formal architectural elements of functionalism in Europe, have been replaced by small windows.

On his photographs, Yigal Gawze captured facade and interior details of construction as well as individual buildings in relation to the whole of the White City. Attention to detail points to the very essence of functionalist architecture, while the second part of the photographs offers excursion into urban planning of the exceptional neighborhood. Dynamic composition and the prospect of sharply-designed photographs by Yigal Gawze refer to avant-garde photography. Author chooses this approach deliberately in order to capture the spirit of Israeli modernism.


Looking for personal, national or cultural identity is rather frequent topic in contemporary art. Due to the globalization there has been and still is a blending of cultures and the gradual disappearance of their specific features. Globalization, on the other hand, generates a huge amount of unknown possibilities of mutual learning.

Project called Czech-Israeli Identity suggests by its name the identity of the two nations. Social, cultural and political development of the identities of both countries was and is influenced mainly by their history and geographical layout. In both countries there were workshops, led by Karel Misek in Israel and by Yashi Rozov in the Czech Republic, with the visual aim to seeking for home and identity. Workshop was held in the studio of graphic design 1 FUD UJEP in the city of Usti nad Labem, in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and in the Holon Academic Institute of Technology in Tel Aviv.

Despite the great distance of the two countries, the similar view of younger generation and that what is essential in the development of civilizations can be felt from the works of students. The project also raises questions related to the mentality and characteristic features of each country. Student view is ironic and in many cases very humorous. It is remarkable that despite the great distances and the geographical location of both countries, young people, albeit with humor, ask very serious and very similar questions. Their posters, showing the wealth of two national cultures, offer a different, fresh view.




From: 9 Sep 2009
To: 2 Oct 2009


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