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Behind the Exhibit: the 57th Venice Biennale

Meet the diverse Israeli artist making her debut at this international event

Every two years, the world-renowned Venice Biennale opens to the public from May to November and highlights some of the most innovative genres of contemporary art including dance, cinema and theatre. The Biennale Foundation first hosted the exhibition in 1895 in order to establish a new market for contemporary art. Today, curator Christine Macel is aiming to put artists and artistic practice at the forefront, naming the exhibit VIVA ARTE VIVA.

As one of the most prestigious art shows in the world, the 57th Venice Biennale is expected to draw a crowd of over 500,000 people who will be exposed to some of the world’s most talented artists. When beginning to build this year’s exhibition, Macel asked herself, “what does it mean to be an artist?”  

Of the 120 artists participating in the Biennale, 103 are making their debut. One newcomer is Ariela Wertheimer, an Israeli artist who will be showing a solo exhibition in partnership with The Farkash Gallery in Jaffa, Israel. Wertheimer has a diverse background, coming from the medical field followed by a twelve-year stint in the Israeli Armed forces. She is inspired by the vibrancy of Tel Aviv and the urban rhythm that exists in the city.

Jaffa Venice Light Boxes

Wertheimer’s “Jaffa Venice Light Boxes” was curated by Aaron Farkash in Tel Aviv and combine a variety of artistic elements to depict portraits of different people. “These light boxes are optic experiences of a visual system, giving the onlooker a humane and personal experience which doesn’t allow any room for indifference,” Wertheimer says. 

Each figure, painted on plywood and illuminated in a light box, is meant to reflect a specific character. Each character has a distinct story and past associated with it that is hidden in the box. The stories together form a unified world where human qualities such as joy, pain, sickness and recovery are the common thread. 

Jaffa Venice Lightboxes

Wertheimer’s works will be located at the Palazzo Mora in the “Personal Structures” area and will be hosted by the European Cultural Center. Visitors will be able to experience the “Jaffa Venice Light Boxes” for the entirety of the 2017 Biennale, from May 13, 2017 through November 26, 2017.

The Venice Bienniale preview will take place on May 10, 11 and 12, and the awards ceremony and inauguration will be held on Saturday May 13, 2017.  Purchase tickets, tours and workshops for the 57th Venice Biennale here.