Reuse design? We thought Green Prophet had it pretty much covered. We’ve brought you plastic dolls converted into lamps, plastic bags transformed into wallets, beer bottles made into beads, and lots more. But the surprises keep on coming.
Reusing an abandoned movie theater as an art exhibition space? There’s an idea. An idea conjured up by the Inspire Collective (not active online since 2016 – updated 2020), an inspiring group of artists who describe themselves:
“We’re a small group of full time public artists now (for the last 7 years) working with a wide variety of mediums and organize global public art exhibitions, etc…an inspired art/activist collective in the Middle East working for a positive social climate by underemphasis of politics, economy, and dogma thru the overemphasis of art, creativity, and the dynamics human spirit that refuses to submit to oppression.
“We are people who know that cooperation is magic.”
Since the formation of the ubiquitous INSPIRE Collective (in West Jerusalem in 2003), we have helped over 700 independent artists from around the world to exhibit their works here in the Middle East.”
Their latest project was ReUse 3, an art exhibition that took place last night and transformed an abandoned movie theater on Pinsker Street in Tel Aviv into an exhibition space to temporarily house the works of 150 local and international artists.
Inspire Collective explains the mission of the exhibition as follows: “On November 19th; Are will have a social cause: whether we like it or not, abandoned and neglected spaces are a global bi-product of industrial abuse.
Due to the wasteful nature of capitalist ideologies, real world problems, like homelessness, poverty”, and social alienation never seem to get solved, yet rethinking and reusing these neglected and abandoned spaces within our own communities can help to ease these societal ills.”
Reusing these public spaces causes us to perceive these spaces without economic glasses; it helps us to see through a more social lens & potentially reverse the process of these problems around the world.”
The notion of recycling and using “kilim” or tools from another primary use is mentioned in the Mishna. Here is a paper on ancient sources and discussion on the Jewish ideas behind reuse (links to PDF).
The authors analyzing perhaps where our throwaway culture came from, write:
“Recycling itself is probably as old as – indeed, seems to be a fundamental characteristic of – the human species. The archaeological record is crowded with artifacts that display the results of recycling behavior.”
“Recycling was the result of it not always being clear what to do with garbage. Should one leave it where it was or fell, in the house, courtyard, or street, which would result very often in pungent unpleasant results; or bury it near or further away from one’s town or dwelling, requiring time and effort; or cart it to a dump, also requiring time and effort?
“While scavengers might have removed some of it for use or recycling, garbage, even in ancient times, continued piling up.
Recycling and continued use of broken implements for as long as possible, of course, reduced some problems of waste control. Ancient society was not a “waste maker” society. On the other hand, recycling and using broken implements reflected an almost inbred aversion in the ancient world to a throwaway society. Implements were either expensive, difficult to make or replace, or provided parts that might be used for recycling.
“This even resulted in a phenomenon known as “provisional discard.” “Junk” might be kept around the house until some use was found for it as a
“From analyzing the finds in “middens,” or piles of refuse, archaeologists learned that people did occasionally throw away perfectly good tools or implements.
“While trash was a function of class, and clearly, the well-to-do would make more trash and could discard objects with less concern than their poorer neighbors or fellows, they seem to have respected thrift concerning objects and implements.”
The participating artists in ReUse 3 included (drum roll):
por el sol
Eclisse Creazioni Art & Photography
Mimi The Clown
The Rat Bat
Just Do It Miss Kaplan
Cans Can Fly
Silly Girl (Paris)
dint wooer krsna
Read about art exhibitions with an environmental focus:
White Trash, An Ecological Group Exhibition, Opens in Tel Aviv Next Week
Environmentally Focused Art at the “Farm Gallery” in Holon
ReUse: An Evening of Eco-Art in Central Jerusalem
This post was updated October, 2020 by Karin Kloosterman, with extra text and images added.