Curator Ami Steinitz presents a process of cultural activism.He has chosen to take the museum utdoors, to the street, thereby inverting its role. As part of the project (called “The Journey”), ten stories reflecting the history, culture, and reality of the Ethiopian community in Petach Tikva were selected.
Signs were installed in ten spots throughout the city, inviting passersby to dial on their cell phones and listen to these stories. In order to implement the project, a team including municipality representatives, activists, and local Ethiopian artists, and artists from the Petach Tikva Museum of Art Education Department was set up. Steinitz himself regards all the project participants as associate “curators.”
This project reflects Steinitz’s current curatorial concept as the outcome of an ongoing process. In 1996 he began staging exhibitions created in collaboration with young people from the Ethiopian community. After many years of extensive activity in the Israeli art milieu, in 2001 Steinitz decided to close his gallery in Neve Tsedek, Tel Aviv. This stemmed from the realization of the limited nature of the gallery space and the desire to place topmost importance on direct involvement in socio-cultural processes. Believing that one should not focus, as customary, on the art exhibit, Steinitz developed a process of “wall-less curatorship,” as he calls it—a social approach striving to create a direct affinity between the museum and the life of the community in the urban sphere.