Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bringing heaven down to earth

On Monday the Israel Museum will open its doors (ALL the doors, not just a few like now) to the public after three years and one hundred million dollars worth of improvements to the 20-acre campus.

I was there just a few weeks ago and you still saw construction everywhere.
Hope they finish on time.
I don't know WHAT the workmen were doing to or adding to Picasso's "Profiles," which has been in the Billy Rose Art Garden since 1967.

Behind the Picasso you can see Robert Indiana's "Ahava," our Hebrew counterpart to his famous "LOVE." (More about it at my Valentine's Day post.)

Look, something new!
The guard would not let me get any closer.
The sky--on the bottom!
Bringing heaven down to earth for SkyWatch Friday and Weekend Reflections!
And the guard leaning back on his chair, legs crossed, just sitting and . . . well . . . guarding.
The 5-meter-tall polished steel hourglass was commissioned from the London-based Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor (who as a teenager came to live in Israel a while and whose mother was Jewish, BTW).
He also made what Chicagoans like to call The Bean.
"Turning the World Upside Down, Jerusalem” reflects and inverts the Jerusalem sky and the Jerusalem landscape.
This is likely a play on the duality of the heavenly Jerusalem and the earthly Jerusalem.
In Hebrew we say Yerushalaim shel ma'alah, Yerushalaim shel matah, literally--Jerusalem of above and Jerusalem of below.
This new sculpture really turns our world on its head!
The New York Times explains how the Israel Museum is changing the way things will be shown to us. It is a whole new approach.


  1. yep the sky on the bottom is soo good

  2. The sky on the bottom - very interesting! Your place is on my list of places to visit. Someday..God willing.

    Blessings from Southeast Asia.

  3. Oh my goodness! What an incredible, beautiful concept executed. I LOVE it!

  4. I wonder if there is water around the base of it so you can see it reflected in the correct direction. You must go back. It looks like a great place to visit.

  5. Very interesting sculptures...also like your explanations of the new building

  6. Oh! That Kapoor piece reminded me of the Bean right away, and I was right! I'll bet I know the first place you'll take your camera when the museum opens.

  7. So exciting! I hope you get to visit the museum when it opens. I like the artwork scattered all over the grounds and I just love the new sculpture! It looks great and the concept is wonderful!

  8. I like the sculptures, If heaven can really coem down to earth, how good it will be, no more tears, no more fighting. Alas, it can't be done.

  9. That is wonderful. I have the sneaky feeling the artist might be the same who did this mirror installation in Monaco.

  10. one planet, you're sooo right.

    Mrs. M, shalom and welcome. Hope to see you here someday soon.

    Cloudia, it is!

    Kay, I figured you, having spent time under the Bean, would appreciate it. :)

    L.D. Burgus, closer photos I've seen show no water there. Yes, I'll go again and get you better photos.

    Eaglesbrother, thanks. I'll post more about the museum soon.

    Kcalpesh and J Bar, thank you both!

    Petrea, ha, we Chicagoans know.
    Yes, I'll take lots of reflections, once the crowds dissipate.

  11. Hilda, quote from the WizeGuide by the Kornboims:

    "For the five-acre 'sculpture' [i.e. sculpture garden] that he created for the Israel Museum, Noguchi [1904-1988] used dramatic contrasts, which are known as harmonic combinations in Japanese culture: natural and artificial, coarse and smooth, geometric lines alongside flowing, organic contours.
    He used concrete, which is artificial stone, and natural Jerusalem stone; simple local vegetation and paths made of delicate gravel imported from Japan. The garden features five crescent-shaped terraces, born of the need to straighten the slope designated for the sculpture garden. Noguchi perceived them as a continuation of the archeological mounds dotting the country. Some find them reminiscent of the terraces adorning the hills of Jerusalem, except that in this case, they sprout sculptures. . . . "

  12. Ann, yes, but we have to try.

    You would like the book
    Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: "Meditations and Everyday Wisdom from the Teachings of the Rebbe, Menachem Schneerson" by Tzvi Freeman.
    You can also get a Daily Dose of these meditations by the Rabbi of Lubavitch via e-mail at
    Spacedlaw, oh, thank you, you're right!
    I learn from the Principality of Monaco website that

    "Recently, he [Kapoor] has devoted himself to a series of work that he describes as “non-objects”: despite their monumentality, his sculptures suggest a window or void and often seem to vanish into their surroundings, sending back a distorted, inverted image, to the spectator of both himself and the landscape in which he evolves.

    Created in 1999, Sky Mirror is a part of this series. The sculpture consists of a concave mirror in polished stainless steel measuring 2.5 meter in diameter that 'makes the world turn upside down, giving the illusion of bringing the sky down to street level.' "

  13. You know that I am not an enthusiast of these structures which resemble so poorly the art I love.
    Let's say that as some very expensive urban furniture these things are very effective.
    I am very happy the Museum is opening completely, so we can hope a more accurate report within days...

  14. Great article from the Times, I can't wait to visit myself - I think I'll take a day in September and go up to Jerusalem. Want to join me for a photowalk?

    Love that hourglass sculpture, simply amazing.

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  15. To turn everything on its head can be a very useful thought experiment for many people.

    Highly polished art is "in" these days. Some of them can be very thought provoking - like this one.

  16. VP, "urban furniture," that's a good one. :) This hourglass could make a good footstool for a giant.
    As you know, there is plenty of the other kind of art to please you in the Israel Museum, but now it will be easier to see.

    Robin, sure, that would be fun to meet up in Jerusalem. Sometime in between all the holidays.

    RuneE, you're right.
    In fact, now I remember my Chicago Rabbi, Herman Schaalman, saying that to us young disciples in 1963. If you want to write an original paper for school, he said, take your subject and turn it on its head, approach it from the unexpected angle.

  17. You know, as soon as I saw it I thought of the Bean, or Cloud Gate although nobody calls it that.

  18. The New York Times does a good job of explaining but we've got Dina.. " LIVE from Jerusalem, this is Jerusalem Hills Daily Photo!" I love the fact that so much thought went into the sculpture! I'm sure it will be brilliant to interact with up close!

    (Please stop by GDP on Saturday, I'm showing a piece of art from a local synagogue).

  19. Such a strange mirror for a perfect week-end reflexion...

    Thanks for the sharing !

  20. That is awesome and so interesting. I'm glad I found you through the weekend reflections. Great shots. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  21. This is SO wonderful! I have seen the "bean" in Chicago. It is so fascinating! I like your interpretation of "heaven on earth," here...very cool thought.

  22. That should be quite an event when the place is fully open. Your preliminary photo certainly make it appealing.

  23. What a beautiful upside-down sculpture reflection!

  24. Great pictures Dina

    Your quote "Turning the world upside down" reminds me that the destiny of the world hangs on Jerusalem. It really is the centre of the world - Ezekiel 5:5

  25. The sheen and the curvature is magical in the upside-down view, Dina. I like approaches that change the way we view something, both with our eyes and with our brain.

    Have a good weekend, my friend.

  26. magnifique tu nous montreras fini ?

    bon dimanche ;O)

  27. Wow! What a fantastic reflection! Great capture, Dina!


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