The Museum of Bat Yam a.k.a. the MoBY has a beautiful and quiet iconic venue (a perfect mix of brutalism and modernism architecture), something you will almost not expect from a small town museum.
Today I’m meeting Elad Rosen, the curator of MoBY’s newest exhibition “Mini Golf Bat Yam“. Rosen, who is also an artist, had the brilliant idea to design a sculptures art show that completely integrate a miniature golf course. Eight artists were commissioned to create an in situ artwork that will be playable. Elad Rosen is very affirmative on the fact that he wanted the mini golf courses to be meaningful art creations, that’s why he contacted artists for his project and not designers.
When you enter the museum, you are welcomed by Martha Firer amazing wood booth were you get your golf equipment from. That’s where it hits me that we are actually going to play golf. The place is filled with visitors and kids golfing around, and in a way becoming integral parts of the artworks. Even though we always interact with a piece of art, this exhibition bring the interaction on another level, the artwork influences the way our bodies move, the way we think, and the way we evolve in this specific environment, but there is a reciprocal influence as the visitors modified the sculptures too. There is something very pleasant into physically engage with the artworks, the sculptures are falling from their classical pedestals to fusion with their viewers. It’s definitely an exhibition in motion, full of energy and not boring for one second.
Each golf course is completely different, their only similarity is that they all have a beginning and an end. Through the eight courses you will face different materials, aesthetics, but also challenges. “As an exhibition, MiniGolf Bat Yam is a combination of environmental sculpture, monuments, models, kinetic art, applied art, design of exercise machines, and relational aesthetics; all fused together by situating a recreational sport in a museum art context” as explained in the exhibition press release. Elad Rosen invited only artists he admired balancing perfectly established artists such as Drora Dominey or Gabriel Klasmer with freshly MFA graduates such as Ruti De Vries.
After playing on few courses, I realised that the mini golf fever got me (I have tendencies to be slightly competitive), the exhibition is for me a success as they managed to turn the viewer from a passive observer to an active engaging actor. Sometimes you need to desecrate art to make it more meaningful and accessible to its audience.