Magasin III Jaffa Books
17 Olei Zion
6802547 Tel Aviv-Yafo
Ph +972 3-9499200
Thursday 2pm – 8pm
Friday 10am – 2pm
About Magasin III Jaffa Books
Magasin III Jaffa’s unique bookstore focuses on regional artist books. The bookstore, located across the street from Magasin III Jaffa, is an integral part of its activities.
In Magasin III Jaffa Books’ storefront we present a series of condensed exhibitions created by artists from the area.
Marginal Notes on Israel
Since 2007, Jan Tichy, an artist and an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been researching the work and life of Lucia Moholy (1894–1989), a Jewish photographer born in Prague. Tichy, also born in Prague, conducts a dialogue with Moholy’s legacy, striving to shed light on the gaps in her personal and professional history. For the past six years, he has been working as a co-curator, designer, and participating artist, together with co-curators Meghan Forbes and Jordan Troeller, on a comprehensive exhibition centered on Moholy’s life and work, which will be presented in 2024 at the Kunsthalle Praha in the city where they were both born and raised.
Between 1923 and 1928, after marrying László Moholy-Nagy, an artist and one of the Bauhaus masters, Moholy was part of the team that founded the School. Among other things, she documented the architecture, products, and people of the school in Weimar and subsequently in Dessau. In 1933, following the Nazi rise to power in Germany, just a few years after the couple returned to Berlin and separated, Moholy was forced to leave Germany in a hurry, leaving behind all her possessions, including the glass negatives of the aforesaid photographs. During World War II, all traces of the glass negatives were lost. Moholy later discovered that they had been used without giving her credit for her work, and that over the years they had been attributed to someone she trusted, Walter Gropius, the first director of the Bauhaus School. While researching the history of art and photography, photographing, editing, and documenting, and becoming an expert in microfilm documentation, Moholy continued to struggle for years to get the recognition she deserved and reobtain the negatives. Of the 570 negatives she left in Berlin, all documented in a card index she took with her, Moholy managed to locate and regain possession of only 240. As part of his research, in recent years Tichy managed to locate 20 more of these negatives in Moholy-Nagy’s estate.
Standard chronology has it that Moholy visited Israel in 1956, and two of her photographs, kept in the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, whose prints are included in the work Marginal Notes on Israel, are associated with that visit. A closer look at Moholy’s passport, however, tells a different story. The passport photographs, which are also presented by Tichy as part of the same work, indicate two important facts: Moholy’s visit to the region in 1956 took place in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which in those years was part of Jordan, so that those two photographs, considered the two last photographs she ever took, were actually taken in Jordan, and not in Israel; in 1966 Moholy visited Israel for a month, a visit that was never mentioned, neither by her nor in any previous research done on her.
Based on his deep familiarity with Moholy’s work, Tichy surmises that she intended to use the photographs she took in 1956 for a book proposal, as she did on other occasions with photographs she took around the world. Tichy, who came to Israel from Czechoslovakia in 1995 and has been working in Chicago since 2007, took advantage of a short visit to Israel and used gaps in Moholy’s story to create his own proposal for an artist’s book, addressing his own affinities with the place through the perspectives used by Moholy when she photographed Israel 67 years ago, and the themes she addresses—photography, documentation, writing, female portraits, and architecture. Tichy’s artist’s book consists of 20 glass plates, as the number of Moholy’s glass negatives that Tichy managed to locate. The panels are identical in size (18×24 cm) to the glass plates used by Moholy. Tichy uses glass as a surface on which he presents, among other things, photographs taken by Moholy and by himself, a portrait of Moholy by photographer Giorgio Hoch, a documentation of her passport, photograms, and filmstock. Moreover, the title of the artist’s book, Marginal Notes on Israel, is also a tribute to Moholy, who in 1972 published a book entitled Moholy-Nagy: Marginal Notes, Documentary Absurdities, which exposed misconceptions regarding Moholy-Nagy’s work.
The book Ascendants: Bauhaus Handprints Collected by László Moholy-Nagy, closely related to the issues that preoccupy Tichy in his work on Moholy, is also available at the bookshop of Magasin III Jaffa. The book was co-edited by Tichy and scholar Dr. Robin Schuldenfrei and published at IIT (Chicago Institute of Design) Press.
About Magasin III Jaffa
Magasin III Jaffa is an exhibition space, a permanent satellite established by Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art from Stockholm, Sweden. Magasin III Jaffa’s diverse program features both local and international contemporary artists. Since opening at 2018, Magasin III Jaffa has presented solo exhibitions by Haim Steinbach, Shiela Hicks, Cosima von Bonin, Tal R, Maya Attoun, Polly Apfelbaum and David Adika. The space is located on 34 Olei Zion, in a residential neighborhood rich with history and cultural diversity, that borders with Jaffa’s famous flea market. Magasin III Jaffa’s unique architecture enables passersby to view the exhibitions from the outside, day and night.
About Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art
The museum is one of Europe’s leading institutions for contemporary art. Magasin III believes in the ability of art to challenge and inspire people and society. Since 1987, Magasin III has presented world-class exhibitions and continues to fortify its collection, which holds works by leading artists. Recent highlight exhibitions in Stockholm include Tom Friedman, Katarina Grosse, Tony Oursler, Mika Rottenberg, Ai Weiwei, Andrea Zittel and Gunnel Wåhlstrand.