Thursday, April 19, 2018

Je T'aime... Exhibition at The Design Museum

To understand what this exhibition is about, one has to come with some prior knowledge of the basic background, otherwise all one sees is three dark spaces (galleries) with a bunch of personal clothes& accessories, and noisy sound from video screens placed all around.

clothes (upper gallery)

The exhibition is dedicated to movie actress and filmaker, Ronit Elkabetz (its full name  is "Je t'aime, Ronit Elkabetz).
She was born in Israel, the daughter of moroccan immigrants from Mogador (Morocco); achieved her fame as movie actress both in Israel and in France, died untimely leaving two 4-year old twins, and a husband (a well-known israeli architect). 

on famous magazine covers (at the entrance of lower gallery)

photos of R.E. at various ages (lower gallery)

more photos of the actress  (lower gallery)

Her personality was a combination and a dialogue of East (moroccan
roots) and West (french culture), Periferie (born in israeli desert town Beer-Sheba, childhood  and adolescence  in northern small town Kiryat Yam) and Center (Tel Aviv, Paris, ), Fashion ( model, in the beginning) and Movie making.

The exhibition, so we're told, started with a research of her wardrobe.Her clothes and accessories  collected over four decades were donated to the museum by her husband , her parents, and the rest of the family.

video screen and outfits (upper gallery)

As mentioned in the catalogue of the exhibition, behind every item there was a story or memory of some kind, and the item was accompanied by a little written note on that. She believed garments had a soul and showed respect to them by way of wearing and folding them with care and love. Clothes were for her a tool and a language for self-expression.

necklace (intermediate gallery)

shoes (intermediate gallery)

yellow, phantasy dress (lower gallery)

black, long gown (lower gallery)

She had dramatic looks: black hair, pale skin, dark eyes, and she often wore black outfits; some of her roles in the movies she played ,also had a certain dark aura about them (she always reminded me of Maria Calas, the greek, dramatic opera singer). And now, the dark spaces at the exhibition - perhaps signifying a state of mourning and loss for her untimely departure.

black, elegant dresses (upper gallery)

white outfit with dots (upper gallery)

coats (upper gallery)

mirror reflection (upper gallery)

The screens along the gallery displayed fragments from her movies, and from attendance at various cultural events.

video screen, one of many.

As a graduate of the fashion section in her high scool - fashion making,  was her dream, but Fate wanted something else for her. She became an actress by chance. And then she tried directing and screen writing and was quite successful (she won prizes and awards).

It was probably all too good to be true...and she left the scene, her family, this world at only 52 years of age following a battle with cancer.  RIP ,Ronit Elkabetz!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Design Museum - Holon

April 2018 is the last month of the current exhibition, "Je t'aime.." at the Design Museum in the city of Holon (they usually change exhibitions every few months).
So, soon after  Passover holiday , I rushed to the museum 'to catch'  the above mentioned exhibition which had stirred up my curiosity.

exhibition Sign from the  direction of the parking lot

The exhibition is dedicated to Ronit Elkabetz, actress and filmaker in Israel and in France. She died two years ago at the age of 52 in battle with cancer. Her untimely death came as a surprise as very few knew she was ill. 

Her younger brother, Shlomi Elkabetz, is the art director of this exhibition which focuses on art and fashion connection as seen in the world of his late sister and co-worker. 

Outside the museum, several posters let people know about the exhibition and its subject.

poster regarding exhibition on the facade of the Cinematheque

 name of exhibition and face of the actress in the inner courtyard

The building of the museum (architect Ron Arad) in itself, is definitely worth a visit. It is considered as one of the most original architectonic achievements of the early 21st  century. The outer structure, the 'envelope', is just mind- blowing.

outer structure - five steel bands arranged in a wavy format

inside video with the architect's words on the process

Five bands of corten steel that surround most of the museum's facades are arranged in an undulating way, and change color (shades of red, brown, orange) .The inside is compact and modest. It comprises two main exhibition halls, one upstairs , one downstairs, a staircase linking between the two (there's a lift too), and an entrance floor with offices and two additional spaces for exhibits.
There's a sort of inner courtyard, partly covered, leading to the entrance. The museum also hosts an archive of design materials opened to the public.

color shades

to the entrance

The museum (opened in 2010) is located in a culture area, named Mediatheque, that includes a central library, a youth theater center, a cinematheque, and nearby , the design faculty of the Holon Institute of Technology. The museum is next to road, across from a shopping mall and some residential areas.

adjacent Mediateque

Mall with tower clock across the museum

On the exhibition "Je T'aime...", hopefully, in my next post.

Friday, March 23, 2018

High -Tech at Bus Stops

I'm a great believer in solar power. I've already mentioned that in a previous post called "Go Solar" (Nov.2009). We all have here solar water heaters on the roof which are remarkably efficient. I've also got  solar weighing scales, a variety of solar little gadgets, and  books on the subject.

Since  about 2011, passengers waiting at bus stops are able to get real time information on bus arrival time, from a digital sign energized by a solar panel facing south - both mounted on a nearby pole. The distance between  pole and bus shelter may slightly differ from place to place, depending, probably, on the condition of the sidewalk near the bus shelter, and on finding the best angle for the solar panel .

the sign and the solar panel (near street lamps and  bus shelter)

The bus arrival information is based on data  transferred to a control center from a satellite navigation system (GPS) installed on buses. During the day, the solar panel accumulates enough energy from the sun to make the information visible on the sign screen in the dark hours too.

info visible on the sign during the dark hours

This, no doubt, highly improves the level of public transportation service. The problem is that not all bus stops are equipped with this smart system, and not all bus companies have adhered to the solar project.  It takes time and money, but there's no way back; the future belongs to the energy produced by sun, wind, water, and other 'green' sources.

panel facing sun,at the top; sign, facing bus shelter

As far as I know, Israel is not among the first countries that have introduced the above system.. Australia, Singapore, California , and other  countries have preceded us. Good for them, and good for us to have them as model, and be able to learn from their experience.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cleaning Favs

March is the first month of Spring and also the month of thorough home Cleaning. The two - spring and cleaning go hand in hand. To clean we need open windows and the warm weather that Spring can offer. So far, the weather hasn't disappointed.

I prefer cleaning agents that are cheap, simple, good for additional uses too. I like them in liquid and powder form, less in spray form.  My favorites  are:  white vinegar , lemon (both juice and peel), baking soda, and, for durer, larger surfaces, commercial Calinda  sanding powder. 

basic cleaning agents

I always have lemons in the kitchen, not only for culinary and cleaning uses, but also for a sore throat condition. I drink some undiluted lemon juice and it immediately clears up my aching throat.
The vinegar  has 5% acetic acid. It can be used in foods and as a folk medication (ear canal infection). I use it only in cleaning and as a relief from insect bites.

white vingar

Both the vinegar and Calinda powder (which can be bought at the store in an economical pack of three) are very effective, and from my experience, do not damage surfaces.

Calinda sanding powder

economical  3-pack Calinda

An essential cleaning tool for me is the toothbrush. It helps me reach tight spaces and corners. I use cheap toothbrushes that I buy  at the dollar store in packs of six. (Of course, I use several other 
kinds of brushes and  also pieces of cloth to assist me in my cleaning job.).

6-pack toothbrushes

Our Passover holiday starts at the end of the month, and that requires additional preparations; not just cleaning and renewing, but removing any speck of 'chametz' (leavened food). I don't belong to those who observe strictly. I do the essentials only, and even that takes a lot of time and effort.

Let's hope for a happy Spring and Passover!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Putin and his high scool Teacher

This is a true story; it first appeared on Ynet - a most popular israeli news and general content website . 

It all began in 2005. Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, visited Israel. Prior to his visit, an elderly woman came to the russian embassy in Tel-Aviv, and left a message for him.

He remembered her; she was his favorite teacher in high school, in St.Petersburg, She was the german language teacher. He invited her to a private talk with him ; shortly after that, she received  his signed autobiography book, and a wrist watch as a present.

Mina Yuditskaya  Berliner - the  teacher, with Putin's autobiography

the watch she got as a present from Putin

(the above pictures are from Ynet).

So far, so good. The best was yet to come.

Several weeks later, the then 84 year old lady ,was surprised by the visit of a russian embassy employee who informed her that Putin wanted to buy her an apartment. At that time, she was living in a tiny apartment , not her own, on the third floor, in a building without lift. The embassy worker asked for her cooperation in choosing the right apartment for her.

She died in December 2017, three months ago, at the age of 96. In her will, she asked for the little apartment to be returned to Putin through the russian embassy (She was a widow with no children or close family). At the funeral, Putin was represented by a memember of the russian embassy which , according to the media, also  paid for the burrial expenses.

(This  moving story has generated in the media some talkbackers' jokes on... Macron, the french PM. Putin bought his teacher an apartment!? Look what Macron  did for his teacher. He not only bought her a home, he also married her, and raised her children from a previous marriage...ha, ha, ha).

Well, may the teacher's soul rest in peace! The above story shows a generous, grateful side to Putin's character.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Black Hebrews In Dimona

"A phenomenon in the land of phenomena", as someone cleverly put it, referring to the community of the Black Hebrews in Israel.

The Black Hebrews, black americans originally from Chicago, believe they're the descendants of an ancient israelite tribe. They moved to Israel in 1968 (some 50 years ago) with a pitstop of over two years in Liberia, and settled  in the  desert city of Dimona.(some of them live in the cities of Jerusalem, Mizpe Ramon, Arad ).The spiritual, charismatic founder and leader of this movement, Ben Ammi Carter, died several years ago.

the Dimona neighborhood

We were rather late and tired when we reached the neighborhood of the Black Hebrews in  Dimona. However, curiosity kept us alert and well on our feet.

conference hall

We were greeted by two members of the community : a young woman, named Naghila, and an elderly, tall man - both dressed in orange- colored outfits. They split us into two groups and showed us around, after an introductory briefing, and a questions - answers exchange in the 'conference hall.'

Nagila, the hostess , in an orange dress

male  host in orange- colored outfit under coat

What immediately catches the eye in this neighborhood ,is the emphasis on bright, live coloured outfits (orange, red, white, yellow, blue, pink), and the storage sheds attached to the small houses.

In addition to the orange colour (in the above photos), we saw kids playing soccer dressed in red , some other kids clothed in blue and white; the two kids in the header wore pink outfits. I rather liked that colorful display of garments. It created an optimistic atmosphere.

kids playing soccer in red clothes

blue cap /pants for the boy, white bandana; red outfit for the girl

Small, tightly spaced single story houses and  an average of five children per family, naturally  create crowded conditions.  So, the storage sheds seem to be a Must here, and an integral part of the landscape.

house + storage shed (white fence)

storage sheds,  paved passage

more storage sheds

It should be mentioned in connection to the crowded conditions, that the Black Hebrews permit polygamy and forbid birth control. (It is believed that the practice of polygamy has stopped, after a certain agreement reached with the government of Israel).

nice house front !

standard  with  gas containers, tiny garden, shed, laundry on wire

The Black Hebrews maintain a strict vegan way of life, growing much of their food, and  wearing clothes made only of natural fabrics (cotton, wool, silk). We've seen a vegan restaurant, a small vegan grocery store, a vegan ice-cream shop, and some gardens with organic growths. 

organic little garden

tables at the vegan restaurant

grocery store

ice-cream display case

As part of their belief in a healthy life style, the members of the community also practice exercising, and keep away from pharmaceutical  or illegal drugs and alcohol. (I've noticed a facility called 'health sanctuary').

The Black Hebrews appear to be active and creative. They are engaged in crafts, and the women have a sewing studio offering sewing services to the community members. 
Among other things, they have established a gospel choir which is well known both in Israel and in the USA.

sewing studio

Although they don't see themselves as belonging to any particular religion , they do observe major religious traditions and customs that are biblical (Sabbath, Yom Kippur, Passover...), and express their intent to live according to the laws and prophecies of God.

I remember reading in some article that the late Ben Ammi Carter stated in an interview that there will never be peace  in the world by way of.politicians. How true!.

It was a short visit but quite enlightening.