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Non Destructive Exhibition

‘Non-Destructive’ is a solo show by Dede Bandaid and Nitzan Mintz at Zemack Contemporary Art Gallery in Tel Aviv.
The places that inspired the new exhibition by Dede and Nitzan Mintz cannot be seen today.
During the last year, leading up to the exhibition, the artists roamed through old buildings scheduled for demolition all around Tel Aviv. They made their way into ruins, some of which had been closed for decades, and some that had recently been locked: Beit Shlush, Beit HaRav Kook, Ishmaeloff Hotel on the corner of Yavne St. and Montefiore St., the house on Engel 9, Rothschild 12 and others. All of which are located in the heart of the city’s most central and desirable neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods that have undergone gentrification and accelerated price increases years ago, which gradually pushed out their residents in favour of luxury towers and boutique hotels.

These places were the last vestiges of an old city, buildings that remained empty due to a conflict between residents or inheritance struggles, and served as architectural monuments. With the opening of the exhibition today, all these structures are in various processes of renovation, preservation, demolition or reconstruction. Some of them were completely shut and sealed, some surrounded by scaffolding and fences, others were demolished to the foundations and rebuilt to become another architectural gem that would help, elegantly, to move the residents to other places.

From these neglected buildings, Dede and Nitzan Mintz collected pieces of life: doors, windows, kitchen shelves, wood and plastic coverings, metal plates, wallpaper and cabinet parts. Alongside the physical act of collection, historical research was also carried out: from rummaging into buildings’ files in the municipal archives, through conversations with the local residents, to stories sent to them through social networks; the artists collected every possible piece of information about the buildings they visited. As in a rescue operation, each of the objects that they chose to gather from the building bore a story, a memory and a historical significance that the artists saw right to save and preserve from the rubble. Each of them served as a platform for Dede’s wooden animal paintings and the lyrics of Mintz’s poems, which themselves are an inseparable part of Tel Aviv’s urban landscape. the exhibition was curated by Hagar Bril.

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