The Museum

Raphie Etgar - Artistic Director and Curator

Raphie Etgar

Raphie Etgar was born in Jerusalem in 1947 and received his BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem.

In 1999, Etgar founded the Museum on the Seam, the first socio-political contemporary art museum in Israel. He has been its artistic director and curator since then.

Etgar initiates and maintains exhibitions that deal with issues at the center of public discussion and in the spirit of human rights and civic duties, out of a profound commitment to bringing about moral and social change through fine contemporary art from Israel and the world.

Over the years, Etgar has curated the following exhibitions: DEAD END (2005), about the violence within Israeli society / EQUAL AND LESS EQUAL (2006), an exhibition that focuses on the issues of discrimination, exploitation and humiliation / BARE LIFE (2007), about the personal and public consequences of a prolonged state of emergency that becomes legitimized / HEARTQUAKE (2008), about the central role of anxiety in human interactions with their surroundings, and the dynamics of social and political interactions / NATURE NATION (2009), about the complexity of encounters between humans with their natural environment / HOME LESS HOME (2010), an exhibition that investigates the relationship between the private home and the state / THE RIGHT TO PROTEST (2010), about the obligation that comes with the privilege of protest / WEST END (2011), about the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West and the possible consequences / BEYOND MEMORY (2012), which presents images from the archives of repression and denial of fears and anxieties from our past experiences, in an attempt to examine possible future scenarios and to learn from them how to avoid repeating past mistakes / FLESH AND BLOOD (2013), attempts to scrutinize the existing harsh relationship between mankind and other animals, and calls upon us to look at flesh and blood as a fabric connecting the family of animals, of which we are part / EVERYONE CARRIES A ROOM INSIDE (2013), about loneliness as a major contemporary phenomenon, gaining more and more impact on people’s lives / AND THE TREES WENT FORTH TO SEEK A KING (2014), about the unprecedented local and global leadership crisis / UNPROTECTED ZONE (2015), about the question of the individual’s responsibility and possibility to create change / THOU SHALT NOT (2017), about the interaction between faith and art / THE WOMEN BEHIND (2018), about the inner world of women, while identifying cases of subjugation and discrimination that mostly occur in the private and public spheres. / "THE CASE OF HIROSHIMA" (2019), about the consequences of a total annihilation of humanity by humanity itself using the technology it produces.

In 2000, Etgar initiated the exhibit COEXISTENCE. This large scale outdoor travelling exhibit features leading artists from around the world and has been shown in over 35 cities on different continents. It calls for mutual understanding between fellow humans, nations and religions. Its opening ceremonies have been attended by local leaders of the countries where the exhibit was held on its global journey.

Over the years, Etgar has lectured and directed projects in major institutions around Europe among them: The National College of Art and Design, Dublin; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Akademie der Bildenden Künste,Vienna; Hochschule der Künste, Zurich; Akademija Likovnih Umjetnosti, Sarajevo; Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf; Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart.

Between the years 1990-1999, he was invited to serve as artist-in-residence and artistic consultant of the renowned S. FISCHER publishing house in Germany. During his residency, he created over 300 posters of books, and over 1000 book covers. His encounters with renowned authors, with which he had worked, created a fascinating linkage for him between the artistic and literary worlds.

He continues to participate in solo and group exhibitions in Israel and throughout the world. Among his solo exhibitions: The Israel Museum, (1995); the National Poster Museum in Essen, Germany (1998) and the Widener Library at Harvard University, Boston, USA (1990).

His works are published in leading art magazines around the world.