"Mother Told Me Not To Touch Garbage" and Other Reasons To Make Recycled Art in Tel Aviv

secret-artist(“Secret Artist” and his “Velvet on the Ground” photo at the Tel Aviv Carmel Market recycled art installation. Photo credit Asaf Ravid. )

A few weeks ago, on a hot Tel Avivian Saturday, I visited the closed Shuk Ha Carmel (the Carmel Market) on the occasion of the Cucumber Season exhibition. I usually really try to avoid the shuk when it is closed as I find it scary, but it intrigued me to see how the artists were going to use this public yet closed space to display their work.

Once at the event we found among the cats and garbage, works of art which were displayed on the different stalls and on the floor.

Funnily, like in contemporary museums when some people mistake the fire extension device with a work of art, at the market we were never quite sure whether an object, piece of rotten fruit or color puddle on the floor was an art work or not.


One common characteristic of the art works was the notion of recycling. For instance, the artist Sharon Fadida presented a kind of handmade machine which consisted of a knife cutting a watermelon repetitively. Another artist, Philip Rantzer, displayed a mobile with colorful shoe laces at the main “entrance” of the market.

(Fadida’s “knife cutting watermelon, repetitively)

Another kind of recycling could be found at a stall where pieces of paper with short sentences were displayed on the table. Perhaps, this was a ‘recycling’ or record of the daily dialogue one can hear on a normal day at the Carmel Market.


Finally it was Secret Artist‘s stand that I enjoyed the most. This artist was not invited to the event but, as this was a public space, he decided to join his fellow artists.


He showed his photographs (one is pictured above) that he had taken several weeks ago when the market was closing and the garbage was everywhere. The result of his project called “My mother told me not to touch garbage” is surprising and really worth seeing as Secret Artist transforms the “ugly” and “dirty” into a beautiful piece of art, a process which we could also consider as a way of recycling.

Perhaps the creation of art in general is always a form of recycling.

Recycling in its literal meaning where the artists reuse objects, food, or materials to create a piece of art. But also the metaphorical recycling where the artists’ own life experiences, the people they encounter, or the public spaces which surround them impact their art.

This one-time event was fun and original although I was excepting more stands and despite of the show, the market still felt a bit empty. I do hope there will be many more initiatives of this kind in the future here in Tel Aviv, as it is always great to see art in unexpected and alternative places.

(This guest post was written by Sarah Peguine, blogger at Oh So Arty. All Photo credits: Asaf Ravid)

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4 thoughts on “"Mother Told Me Not To Touch Garbage" and Other Reasons To Make Recycled Art in Tel Aviv”

  1. Hello.This article was really remarkable, especially since I was browsing for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

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