It has an astonishing peculiarity. For, when it flows, it is a copious stream with a current far from sluggish; then all at once its sources fail, and for the space of six days it presents the spectacle of a dry bed; again, as though no change had occurred, it pours forth on the seventh day just as before. And it has always been observed to keep strictly to this order; whence they have called it the Sabbatical river, so naming it after the sacred seventh day of the Jews.
Josephus, The Jewish War
a film by Mateusz Miszczyński and Jakub Słabek
Jewish Culture Festival invited an artistic collective from Jerusalem – HaMiffal (Hebrew for factory) to create a special project inspired by Kazimierz, that would interpret in a creative way its history, cultural heritage and today’s life in Jewish quarter of Krakow. On the border between Kazimierz and Krakow’s Old Town, Israeli artists turned an apartment in a town house at 32 Sebastiana Street, owned by the Bosak family, into one huge installation and made it a temporary space for art.
This is how we created Sambation – a project that evokes a different reality, arousing memories and flooding the space with many layers of local history. Artistic interventions with the use of sculpture, paintings and video art as well as a diverse program of workshops, performances and artistic events with the participation of the audience, filled that space during 28th JCF. They examined the experience of dealing with absence, silenced myths, leading to the outburst of exposed art-making, stemming from suppressed subconsciousness.
photo: Bartosz Dittmar
HaMiffal Collective is a community of artists representing various fields of art who have joined forces to make a total artistic project in a historic building located in the heart of Jerusalem. Once belonging to a wealthy Arab family, then abandoned for years, the house has a new life thanks to the collective. Wall paintings have been discovered, the history of the building has been examined and documented. At present, the artists run this place themselves, and it consists of a performance space, a gallery, a B&B for artists, a café and a workshop space. HaMiffal has been functioning for two years, based on the activities of the Empty House group (Bayit Rek), founded in 2011, which aims to transform abandoned buildings into temporary “temples of culture”.
The town house at ul. św. Sebastiana 32 was bought by the Bosaks in 1910, and the entire large family lived there until they were moved to the ghetto in 1941. Józef Bosak, one of the few survivors of the Bosak family, immigrated to Israel in 1949. This year, thanks to the kindness of Józef’s descendants, we hosted there the Sambation project, but already during 25th JCF the apartment was a venue for the exhibition A View of a Quarter , presenting photographs taken in Kazimierz by Cracovian Eugeniusz Wilczyk in 1950s and Austrian photographer Suzanne Guzei-Taschner in 1980s. In 2014, commissioned by the festival, Israeli group Broken Fingaz created a special mural on a different building owned by Bosak family, right next to the Old Synagogue.
Artists: Ann Deych, Anat Bosak, Deborah Fischer, Gilli Levi, Itamar Hammerman, Kobi Vogman, Meydad Eliyahu, Michal Chevion, Michal Harada, Michael Cohen, Noa Arad Yairi, Neta Meisels, Shmulik Twig, Shavit Yaron, Tal Ben Hamo, Tal Harada, Yuval Yairi, artistic director: Meydad Eliyahu
Coordination of the project on behalf of the JCF: Judith Paletta, Paweł Kowalewski