Simtat Shlush 5, Tel Aviv
“So let them come, the gay incendiaries with charred fingers! Here they are! Here they are!… Come on! Set fire to the library shelves! Turn aside the canals to flood the museums!… Oh, the joy of seeing the glorious old canvases bobbing adrift on those waters, discolored and shredded!… Take up your pickaxes, your axes and hammers and wreck, wreck the venerable cities, pitilessly!”
The word Bridge describes an architectural functional structure that connects two places, and is commonly used as a metaphor. The command Burn your bridges is used as a strategic plan in situations of siege or persecution.
Bridges symbolize physical and mental territories, changes and transitions between periods and interpersonal relationships. Often we advise our loved ones not to act impulsively and not to “burn bridges”. We are accustomed to thinking that the path to growth and progress must be based on creating continuity and bridging gaps. Sometimes, however, the only way to move on, to reinvent ourselves, to rise up like a phoenix from the painful memories – be it a harmful family, professional, social, or romantic relationships – is to sever the relationship irreversibly, to burn the bridges so that we can no longer go back, in order to prevent demons from the past from continuing to persecute us. As written in The Internationale, the anthem of the political left that was translated from French into many languages:
“Of the past let us make a clean slate
Enslaved masses, stand up, stand up.
The world is about to change its foundation
We are nothing, let us be all.”
In Genesis Rabbah there is a story about the young Abraham who opposed his idolatrous father, Terah, by smashing all the idols in his father’s shop. After the act, the son proves the father for believing in idols as God and clarifies that the act of obliteration was meant to prevent a return to paganism. In another biblical story, Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt after she disobeyed the divine command by looking back, out of her own difficulty to free from the past.
The avant-garde modernism movements of 20th century have progressed by negating the past, which can also be referred to as “patricide.” The most obvious example of this are the Futurists, led by Marinetti, who were moved by the ideas of progress and movement and claimed that there was a clear direction of progress toward culture and art. They called for a violent detachment from the culture of the past and even to destroy its institutions. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) also consistently destroys historical, architectural, artistic and religious treasures.
From the very beginning, Alfred Gallery has sought to serve as an alternative to the commercial art world. As a cooperative gallery, it examines its relations with this world and with the concept of art as commodity, sometimes collaborating with it, sometimes undermining its principles and at other times by turning its back on the economic-artistic considerations that drive the capitalist art market. In 2019, we will examine the concept behind the statement burn your bridges from personal and intimate aspects, alongside political and social aspects. We invite you to offer original and profound exhibition proposals relating to this subject.
The proposal should include:
– a visualisation of the gallery space – priority will be given to proposals that refer to the gallery’s space
– a curatorial thesis
– Images of proposed works for the exhibition
– Images of five to ten previous works
Exhibition proposals are to be submitted to: [email protected].
All proposals are to be submitted in one pdf file only, and should not be sent later than September 23, 2018.
The gallery encourages collaborations between artists. Priority will be given to dual and group exhibitions.
Since the gallery is a nonprofit organization, we are unable to provide funding for the exhibition.
The Gallery Space:
for a 3D layout of the space in SKP format please visit the open call page on the Alfred Institute’s website.
 Quote from The Futurist Manifesto, Marinetti, 1909
Banner Image: Lior Schur, And the land was exploding and foaming (detail), Ink & aquarelle on paper, 2018