|M.Sc Student||Kramer Dalia|
|Subject||Between Cultural Fields: A Study of the Exhibition|
"White City - International Style Architecture
in Israel", 1984
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Professor Iris Aravot|
|Professor Alona Nitzan-Shiftan|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The central subject of the research is the ways in which the discipline of architecture participates in the definition of Israeli identity. This issue raises the question: where does the body of architectural knowledge meet the wider Israeli culture, and how is it transformed from one domain to another?
This question directs the investigator’s eye to the borders of the field of architecture and to its wide interface with Israeli culture. Where the borders cross, there, between cultural fields, among other things, the museum is located. It facilitates presentation, distribution, and the exchange of knowledge from one field to another.
In 1984 Tel Aviv Museum mounted an exhibition called White City. This exhibition, which wrote the story of architectural modernism in Israel of the 30s, became The seminal exhibition in its field.
From the historical perspective, it seems that White City “fired the first shots” marking the start of a struggle that would spread over two decades, in the course of which, Tel Aviv’s international style architecture gained worldwide acknowledgement, diffusing beyond professional discussion till it became one of the identifying attributes of the City. This process reached its peak in 2003 with the UNESCO proclamation of the White City of Tel Aviv as a World Heritage Cultural Site. Celebrations of the proclamation were held in summer 2004.
The attempt to analyze the unique success of the exhibition in conveying professional knowledge from within the architectural field to the wider Israeli cultural scene, and from there to international recognition, formulated the research question:
How, by means of a museum exhibition, does architectural historiography participate in the struggle for the Israeli scene, and the struggle for Israeli Identity?
This question, which focuses the research on the ways an architectural exhibition acts in the museum arena and on the ways a body of architectural knowledge is converted into cultural capital and power, raises further questions, e.g.: how is this body of knowledge displayed? How does this knowledge become legitimate? How does it cross the borders of the architectural discipline and is cast into general cultural currency?
The essay examines the exhibition through the active networks of which it is woven and through the cultural mechanisms by which it functions. It seeks to offer a methodology for further discussion on exhibitions, as representatives and generators of processes in the world of architecture, in the cultural space and in whatever is between them.