Past Public Program

Host & Guest at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in association with Artis, presented Host & Guest, a platform of nine exhibitions, workshops and events focused on philosophical, political, literary, architectural and artistic concerns following from Jacques Derrida’s book, Of Hospitality, and Immanuel Kant’s essay, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch.” Conceptualized and directed by Steven Henry Madoff, Host & Guest was developed by an international team.

Curators Ana Paul Cohen (Brazil), Hou Hanru (France, U.S., China), Jeffrey Schnapp (U.S.), Joshua Simon (Israel), Madoff (U.S.), and artists Dora Garcia (Spain), Raqs Media Collective (India), Kimsooja (South Korea) and David Tartakover (Israel) offered exhibitions, workshops and events with the participation of other artists, architects, theorists, and activists, including Kasper Akhøj, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Mabe Bethonico, Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, Zvi Efrat, Nir Evron, Giulia Girardello, Dor Guez, Alma Itzhaky, Miki Kratsman, Armin Linke, Renata Lucas, Eli Petel, Aldo Piromalli, Roee Rosen, Yehudit Sasportas, Liu Xiaodong, Raphael Zagury-Orly, and Mich’ael Zupraner, among others.

The words hospice, hostile, host, hostage, guest, ghost, and hospitality all derive from the same linguistic origin and describe a meshwork of obligations and tensions that have long been embedded in the relations of hosts and guests. Why has the guest come? As an adventurer or refugee? As a wanderer or victim? In conquest or collapse? And what happens when the visitor comes to our door and we answer—sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not? The colonization of languages, the significations of architectural structures, the symbiotic and parasitic relations between cultural institutions and their laborers and consumers, the continual problematic of politico-geographic boundary lines, the contest of the rights of guests on foreign soil, and concepts regarding the stranger, the exile, and the host as hostage are among the subjects addressed by these projects.

Unfolding over two months, Host & Guest was an active international platform for discussions at the heart of regional and global debate, conflict, and acts of generosity.