Critics’ Picks

View of “The Kids Want Communism,” 2016. Installation view of Noa Yafe’s “The Red Star,” 2016.

Bat Yam

“The Kids Want Communism”

Museums of Bat Yam (MobY)
6 Struma St.
July 28–November 12, 2016

This yearlong three-part show offers an alternative for future generations—its thesis bluntly states that communism is alive and kicking and that it is the solution for contemporary universal matters. Focusing on past events as well as present philosophical discourses, the exhibition’s ideas are supported by sci-fi scenes and outer-space images that trace the technological shift of the twentieth century and the era of Soviet-style “real socialism.” For example, The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 2016, a bookcase designed by Nicole Wermers, displays an edition of the compilation. In the spirit of space exploration, the bookcase travels to a different part of the museum for each exhibition installment, and, in an ongoing lecture series, artists and scholars are invited to use the resource to analyze current affairs. Nearby, Noa Yafe’s “The Red Star,” 2016, is a series of captivating framed photographs and holograms depicting space shuttles and Mars, inspired by Alexander Bogdanov’s sci-fi novel exploring a Communist society on that planet.

Works by Anna Lukashevsky, Jonathan Gold, and Raanan Harlap examine the Israeli Communist experience through colorful portraits of Russian immigrants in Haifa today, a large-scale mural, and reliefs of public housing. The curator, Joshua Simon, also presents a video and photographic documentation as part of a series titled “Year One: Jewish-Arab Brotherhood,” 2016, which traces the activities of the local Communist Party that has existed in Mandatory Palestine since 1919. In the short video-interview, two of the members, an Arab and a Jew, express the joy of working together, hinting at the potential of living in equality and peace.