XL presents Tiesto Live in Israel on the 18th of August, at Ganei Hatarucha.
Recently voted ‘The Greatest DJ Of All Time’, Tiesto has truly become a universal phenomenon.
XL has become famous for bringing the best DJ’s and craziest parties to TLV, Bob Sinclar and Mark Ronson & The Business Intl to mention a few.
Video from one of TIESTO’s previous appearances in Tel Aviv
A makeshift artists colony arose last week on Bat Yam’s main beach, between the concrete skeleton of an abandoned hotel and a plastic playground. Over the next month it will host artists in various media as well as musicians from Israel and abroad.
The guests will stay in temporary structures, reminiscent of the beach huts on the Sinai Peninsula, and present their work in a new gallery erected in the abandoned Riviera nightclub. The Bat Yam municipality, which has in recent years worked to make the area a site for experimental urban architecture, is funding the entire project, including the establishment and operation of the gallery and the artists colony.
The Riviera is a remnant of the lively 1950s and 60s club scene here. It was built on the pristine beach, just a few dozen meters from the water, and attracted a chic clientele of merrymakers from all the surrounding cities. In an article in the Bat Yam local weekly from 1956, it was said to be the central focus of the developing leisure culture in the city and termed “Tel Aviv’s Plaza.” The club ceased functioning in the 1970s and remained there, like a concrete whale that had been swept onto the beach.
Architects Els Verbakel and Elie Derman, partners at the office and in daily life, said that guerrilla architecture is the idea behind the gallery they conceived. “You enter, leave, and take it down before you even have a building program – planning in the midst of the process,” they say. The project brewed quickly, while they were collecting the work to exhibit. Within two days there were sketches, within a week a presentation was made to the city, and within two weeks work on the site was completed.
“Bat Yam believes in fast action without a lot of advance planning,” Verbakel said. “I think it’s a big advantage for a city that wants to be in a continuous process of renewal.” The transformation of the club space into an art gallery required only an original conceptual solution since the large open spaces, about 1,200 square meters in all, were highly suited to art exhibitions.
A sandy interior
In the first stage, the architects decided to reopen the long facade that faces the sea and create a direct connection between the space inside and the nature landscape outside. In an effort to completely blur the sharp division between the experience of visiting a gallery and the freedom of beach-roaming, it was decided to line the floor with special poured sand which provides a stable basis, but not a fixed ground. The sand may be piled up and shaped into dunes, and when it needs to be cleaned at the end of the day, one simply uses a rake. “We want this to be a gallery you can visit in a bathing suit while eating ice cream,” Derman said.
The walls and columns are painted white. Yellow neon lights hang from the ceiling, giving the gallery a summery feel, a kind of homage to the neon signs blinking above the rides at Coney Island in New York. The color yellow is the gallery’s logo, and appears on the blinds and on the cheerful signs on the huts on the beach itself. A small kiosk, operated by Bat Yam teenagers, has been erected near the gallery. For some reason, the planners must have thought that a fashionable alternative should be offered to Tel Avivians so they placed a temporary branch of an organic cafe on the roof.
The Tel Aviv-based Verbakel and Derman have been working in Bat Yam since the Bat Yam biennale of landscape urbanism in September 2010. There they presented one of the most successful works, an interactive public space called “On the Way to the Sea.” It comprised a series of metal gates and benches whose arrangement allowed for all kinds of encounters. Unlike many of the other pieces, which were dismantled when the bienniale ended, theirs serves residents to this day as a sort of playground for young people and adults.One can make out the white edges of the gates even from the Riviera. Thanks to this piece, they have begun working at other locations in the city and are involved in renewal and design programs in the Ramat Yosef neighborhood.
More consensus than guerrilla
Actually, the gallery renovation is far from real guerrilla architecture, which is based on a radical platform and does not receive support from official bodies. Apart from the openness of the Bat Yam municipality to architectural and artistic innovation, the artists colony plan is rooted deep in the heart of the consensus and the world of marketing, and in the meantime has not managed to create a significant critical statement about the space surrounding it.
On the other hand, in a country poor in architectural experimentation, this is a fresh breeze which proves that architecture has the ability to make changes, even quick ones, in built up environments – and this is possible even if when planning and resources are limited.
The beach gallery raises the significant question about the future character of the shore line in Bat Yam. In a few years time the final links in the long boardwalk that connects Herzliya to Rishon Letzion will be completed and give Gush Dan residents an extraordinary and high quality public expanse. The declared goal of the gallery is to create a spatial event inside this space, to attract visitors from Bat Yam but also from surrounding areas, and to contribute to the continuing change in image the city is undergoing.
The municipality has advanced a series of plans to build on the shore line in recent years, including a recently approved plan to erect two 40-storey towers almost exactly where the gallery is located. The question is what will remain of the authenticity of simple recreation at the beach when thousands of tourists flood the city and the prices of apartments near the water skyrocket.
Meanwhile Verbakel and Derman are planning the second stage of the gallery renovation which consists of preparing all parts of the building for activities, and enabling a permanent art institution to operate here. The architects hope that they can preserve the unmediated connection of the gallery to the beach, without glass windows and a fixed floor. We can only hope that next summer, it will still be possible to enter in a bathing suit, with ice cream.