Teddy Brauner, General View of Haifa and the Bay from Mount Carmel, 1953, National Photo collection, Jerusalem
City of the Present
September 20, 2008 - August 2, 2009
Curator: Batia Donner
This exhibition focuses on the decade following the War of Independence - a time during which Haifa ceased to be an ethnically mixed, bi-national city, and became a Jewish working-class city. The political and demographic changes that occurred in the aftermath of the war furnish the background for the exhibition, which focuses on the city of Haifa, its residents and its centers of power during this period.
Haifa, defined by legendary Mayor Aba Choushi as the "city of the present," was at the time the focus of intense activity during this decade. All areas of civic life were influenced by socialist ideology. The exhibition examines the various ways in which various phenomena, institutions and events were constructed and represented during this decade; in doing so, it seeks to highlight prevailing attitudes and opinions in a historical and cultural context. Using documentary and artistic forms of visual expression, the exhibition seeks to provide the viewer with a portrait of the city and of the forces that shaped its physical infrastructure, its institutions and the lifestyle of its residents.
The exhibition is structured around a series of themes resembling lexicon entries, which come together to reflect the workings of a national, ideological, urban and socialist mechanism. These entries represent the encounter between urban individuals and various conceptions and modes of thinking that produced diverse means of communication, events and concrete facts.