The Bat-Yam Biennale: Urban Action is due to take place for the third time in October 2012 in and around the city of Bat-Yam, following the two former editions, “Hosting 2008” and “Timing 2010”. We invite artists, architects, designers, residents, social researchers to suggest ideas for improving the quality of life in the city. Selected proposals will be executed by the Bat-Yam municipality.

The Bat-Yam Biennale is an international bi-annual event dealing with the planning and design of urban life culture. During the Biennale, the city’s space becomes a laboratory for the creation of new, sustainable urban spaces and the exploration of novel modes of urban living. The Biennale wishes to strengthen residents’ sense of responsibility towards their shared public spaces, and to suggest ways of changing the traditional relationships between residents and municipal authorities – between the city’s people and its professional managing strata.

Curators of the Biennale:

  • Sigal Barnir – Teaches at Bezalel, deals with cultural studies, architecture and landscape design.
  • Yael Moria-Klein – Prof. of Landscape Architecture at the Techion, Haifa, and a landscape architect.

The Theme: Metamorphosis

For the coming edition of the Bat-Yam Biennale, the concept of “metamorphosis” will serve as a source of inspiration and general framework. We wish to draw on three properties of the metamorphic process:

  1. Metamorphosis as an overall and unexpected transformation, an essential change of form, entity or functioning.
  2. Metamorphosis as change emerging from within, a transformation undergone as part of that being’s nature. For example, the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into chrysalis and butterfly, or yet the evaporation or freezing of water, in what can be a permanent or cyclical transformation.
  3. Metamorphosis as a dramatic change that does not attest to the exterior forces that generated it. On the contrary, often it is a meticulous and restricted action that caused the transformation – such as the kiss which made the frog a prince, or the clock striking midnight, which turned the carriage into a pumpkin. Change can occur by the waving a wand, by a gaze or a spell – and sometimes merely by wish, intention or possibility.

Such are the kinds of actions that we seek: those capable of a meaningful change arrived at from within the existing space, and through a precise and determined action; actions that emanate from the reading and visioning of options already imbedded in that space, and an ability to realize them together with its inhabitants.

We call on anyone interested or involved in urbanism to respond to the theme of metamorphosis and suggest an act of intervention in Bat-Yam’s urban space.

To be selected, proposals should express innovative ways of thinking and present outlines for the development of an enhanced and beneficial living environment for the city and its residents. The nature and dimension of the intervention is up to the proposer, and may manifest itself in various ways: an artistic action, an actual architectural intervention, a research or documentation project, or a social-educational action together with residents and communities. We invite individuals, groups and collectives to suggest actions and generate collaborative thinking and creative processes together with Bat-Yam’s various urban communities.

The third Bat-Yam Biennale will focus on the city’s northern areas: the Tel-Aviv border from north; the beach and promenade from west; the Ayalon highway from east; and the Rothschild and Jerusalem streets from south. These areas comprise a diversified urban texture, which includes the promenade area; the ‘Matzeva’ area, one of the city’s prominent commercial zones; and residential quarters: the Amidar and Nitzana neighborhoods to the east and the North-Western neighborhood, Bat-Yam’s historic quarter.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals should include a written abstract (up to 2 A4 pages) and CVs of the team members (up to half an A4 page each). Visual materials may be added in a PDF file.

Questions may be addressed to the following e-mail: batyam.biennale@gmail.com

Tours

Guided tours in areas designated for intervention will be held during May, with the participation of local residents. To participate, please register ahead by email: batyam.biennale@gmail.com
Exact tour dates will be published in the Biennale website.