Tel Aviv Comes To Berlin
Anyone who visits Tel Aviv will agree that it has much in common with Berlin, from the Bauhaus buildings to the trendy, international flair. Solveig Steinhardt explores this city’s Israeli side.
Mazel tov! This year marks the 50th anniversary of German-Israeli relations.
When confronted in 1948 with the question of whether to establish diplomatic relations with Germany, the newly founded State of Israel initially declined because of the Nazi regime's genocide of six million Jews. As Germany acknowledged its responsibilities, however, relations began to thaw, and in 1965, diplomatic relations were finally established. A lot has happened since, and with Berlin now home to some 20,000 Israelis, the two countries have never been closer. This year marks the 50th anniversary of German-Israeli relations, and to celebrate, the city is presenting a number of events, starting with last month’s I Love Israel bazaar and continuing the rest of the year.
May's biggest event is an exhibition of 70 works on loan to Martin-Gropius-Bau from the Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art, founded in 1932 by then-mayor Meir Dizengoff together with Berlin-born art historian Karl Schwarz. Schwarz spent years visiting artists and patrons to compile the new collection, and thanks to donations from painters, sculptors, and benefactors, the museum’s catalogue now includes examples of all the artistic movements of the 20th century, featuring masterpieces by Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Egon Schiele, and Pablo Picasso, as well as works by Israeli artists. In order to create a dialogue between classical modernity and contemporary Israeli art, the exhibition will juxtapose 19th-century works with the latest artistic tendencies in video and installation art, exploring the opuses of some of Israel’s most important and engaged artists, such as Guy Ben-Ner, Nira Pereg, and Yael Bartana, who express strong positions on politics, social matters, and the environment. For a more melodious celebration, on 22 May pianist Heidrun Holtmann will present a number of pieces by German and Israeli composers at the Kammermusiksaal of the
Philharmonie, including a piece by Martin Christoph Redel written especially for the anniversary.