top of page
פרידה מאיר.jpg

Objections: 20 Years After the UNESCO Declaration of The White City

15.6.23 - 13.1.24

Participants: Susanne Mariacher, Daniel Tchetchik, Zipa Kempinsky, Omer Krieger, Shir Raz, and Elena Stelzer

Opening: Thursday, 15 June 2023, at 8 pm

Exhibition ends: 13 January 2024

The preparation of Tel Aviv’s heritage conservation plan offered a pivotal civic moment, the first of its kind: a meeting between city planners, the staff at the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, and those who objected to the plan.

The clash and tensions between different stakeholders surrfaced in 2003, the year in which UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared the White City a World Heritage Site. It was motivated by different perceptions of private property rights and freedoms, as well as different points of view about the common good and the public interest. It marks a watershed moment of negotiation and discourse on the values, interests, and norms that guide heritage protection and would eventually impact the city’s urban space.

For five months, from September 2022 to February 2023, the participants of the Liebling Haus residency program HaDira – as part of a multidisciplinary study conducted with researchers at the Technion – discussed questions regarding heritage protection and the common good, and concerning the private and public interests.

The participants explored the various conflicts emanating from the 2003 UNESCO declaration and the challenges it presented twenty years on: Who has the right to the White City? Who is the public and can the public good be defined in relation to heritage? What is the common good and how is it perceived and negotiated? What are the dangers it faces? Who gets to decide? Who benefits from heritage protection? How did the heritage conservation plan impact Tel Aviv’s urban space, and what does the future hold for it? How does the neoliberal economy affect heritage protection and development in the city?

At a time in which Tel Aviv-Yafo is undergoing accelerated processes of construction, regeneration, privatization, and development, while the country is experiencing unprecedented, widespread civil unrest, the exhibition sets out to examine the creative and productive potential inherent in the conflicts and tensions surrounding planning and conservation of the built heritage. In addition, it seeks to extend the possibilities embodied in objection as a civil tool for bringing about spacial, cultural, and ethical change.

The exhibition presents a series of artistic objections created by the residency participants, along with parts of the 2003 objection process. The works deal with questions such as: Who owns the airspace and the right to the view? How are urban myths created? How can the demolition of historic buildings or their fetishization be avoided? How do things look a moment before they fall apart? Does the White City as a public space allow civil action? Who remembers that people live here?

For more information on the residency program and the residents:

Curator: Arch. Sabrina Cegla

Academic collaboration, research, and consultation: The Technion Planning Policy Lab: Prof. Nir Mualam, Dr. Eynat Mendelson Shwartz, Arch. Ahdi Alchalel Harpaz

Assistant curator and content development for the exhibition: Tsuf Bar-On

Graphic Design: Noam Noy, Roni Vesely

Supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum; The Austrian Embassy in Tel Aviv; The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Tel Aviv; The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology; The Israeli Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology; and The Israel Antiquities Authority

bottom of page