These works are a part of a photographic project in which I trace the buildings designed by architect Shmuel Bikeles in different locations in Israel. Bikeles’ buildings were built as an inherent part of the Zionist Project, between the 1940’s and the 1970’s. These are cultural buildings that attempt to include all the cultural components of the large cities of Europe-library, museum, concert hall, and a memorial. These are places that invent Israeli culture. They are immense, especially when considered in relation to the number of people who lived in proximity to these institutions in the time they were built. They were as homes for culture, before anyone had a home. They create capsules of memory, vessels for all the ideal knowledge the new man in his new country needs to acquire. These buildings were built outside their time, while looking towards the utopian future they will one day create in their image. They are forced onto the land, knowing that they do not yet belong in the place, with the hope to sketch the future in their image, as something these places would fit into. In a way, they are the realization of a vision in the present, a future wish that with time became a forgotten past. Today these are withered spaces, places that time has rendered dull.
Shmuel Biklis Project