June/18/2020 - October/31/2020

METROPOLIS

The exhibition will present humankind’s race to reach further and higher. It is a race in which the big cities - those which are developing at a dazzling pace, not always in correlation with the real needs of their inhabitants.

The year 2026 is looming, an appropriate time for humankind to examine to what extent Fritz Lang’s pessimist vision, as presented in his 1926 film Metropolis, has materialized. Almost a hundred years later, will indeed his apocalyptic prophecy, in which laborers will return to fight for their basic human rights and economic freedom and against capitalist and fascist forces which dictate the pace of construction, scientific and technological development leading to all control of power materialize?
Today we watch the world in a never-ending race against itself as well as the reality which is redesigning itself at a speed we cannot follow. We gaze at gigantic cities where airplanes and drones hover amidst their crowded skyscrapers, and we are lost in the cobwebs of highways and interchanges and the endless lines of cars entangled in them.
At this very moment, we are planning for ourselves and for future generations the futuristic city, one which will duplicate the idea of an industrial, estranged and cruel world, where the rich founders of Metropolis, whose sole interest was their own luxury and indulgences lived, oblivious of the hardworking, homeless and enslaved laborers fighting for their livelihood.
The exhibition METROPOLIS will therefore present humankind’s race to reach further and higher, not necessarily for the benefit of the world’s inhabitants. It is a race in which the big cities - those which are developing at a dazzling pace, not always in correlation with the real needs of their inhabitants and the natural conditions accompanying this process - compete. It is a process in which the interior design and the externally reflected façades are unbalanced. It is an equation in which the side of functional design is severed from the side of appearances which strive mainly to satisfy urges. An equation which is tipped against scientific and technological development and in favor of their abuse for improvements in urban space.
So where is humankind heading to?
METROPOLIS, if you will, is a renewed version of the Biblical Tower of Babylon and another expression of humankind’s ambition to conquer the world of tomorrow. It is humankind’s determined way of breaching the boundaries of its imagination and capabilities, at all costs, making use of the immense knowledge it has accumulated, which multiplies itself in this computerized era in which we live.

Minoru Nomata, Japan
Tehching Hsieh, USA, Taiwan
Fritz Lang, Austria
Liu Bolin, China
Jaroslaw Kozakiewicz, Poland
Mike Winkelmann, USA
Daniela Comani, Italy
Shai Kremer, USA, Israel
Miao Xiaochun, China
Ben Tolman, USA
Rui Toscano, Portugal

Curator, Raphie Etgar

 
 
 
 

GOLEM

 

Do we have good reasons to worry about the ultimate human-like machine we are developing, and will it very soon prove us severely mistaken? Or, in other words, is humankind on the verge of a struggle for control versus man-made machines, which are beginning to form their own independent thoughts?

 

500 years have passed since the Jewish folklore tales about the Golem of Prague, an anthropomorphic being created of clay and brought to life through Cabbalistic name phrases, and the contemporary man made Golem, and yet, the passage from myth to reality has changed nothing. The Golem has remained an unsolved riddle, the answer to which is encrypted in the future.
The Golem, who according to tradition was created by Judah Loew ben Bezalel (the Maharal), a 16 the century Rabbi of Prague, to defend the Jewish community from anti-Semitic pogroms, was a feeble minded person, who could become violent and turn against his creator. In fact, it is a tale about the oldest robot in history, reflecting the fear of loss of control over this anthropomorphic artificial creature.
Do we have good reasons to worry about the ultimate human-like machine we are developing, and will it very soon prove us severely mistaken? Or, in other words, is humankind on the verge of a struggle for control versus man-made machines, which are beginning to form their own independent thoughts, as described in Samuel Butler’s book, as early as 1863, "Darwin Among Machines"?
It seems that as we face the question of the future of the world and its human population, it is critical that we plan the future of the coming generations, with due care and fear and with anticipation of the catastrophes that we might bring upon ourselves. This needs to be said with due caution, in particularly regarding the present reality and in accordance with the prophetic doctrine of the architect, artist and philosopher, Yona Friedman, who stimulates us to think differently.
In an interview to the British magazine “BluePrint”, Friedman offered his own explanation to the current global crisis, amongst others stating that the situation is in fact a result of over-planning. “Planning means taking into account every event ahead of time”, he said, “except the unpredictable event. But sometimes the unpredictable occurs. It is not a result of mistaken planning. The mistake was in the actual attempt to plan something that is unplannable.”

 

Shai Kremer, USA, Israel
Arcangelo Sassolino, Italy
Mike Winkelmann, USA
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, China
Lydia Kallipoliti &

Andreas Theodoridis, USA, Greece
Ben Tolman, USA
Saron Paz & Zvika Markfeld, Israel

Curator, Raphie Etgar


 

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