The museum curator’s enthusiastic reactions following their trip to Israel:

Edwin Jacobs, Centraal Museum, Utrecht
-‘The trip was a life lesson, a great experience.’
-‘This journey is a must for anyone seriously involved in art and culture.’

Bas Vroege, Paradox, Edam
-‘These are the first small, substantial results of a very positive encounter: Israel and Israeli artists are imprinted in my mind, Israeli art will always be a part in the planning and/or research of new relevant projects.’

Hendrik Folkerts, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
-‘The trip has broadened my outlook as a curator, it has introduced me to the Israeli Art scene, the political landscape of Israel/Palestine and the network of artists, curators and critics of Artis & KUNSTENISRAËL. Exchanging ideas with other curators was a very productive experience, enduring alliances have been made.’

Hilde de Bruijn, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen
-‘The trip has inspired me enormously. In my work for the museum I try to create as many projects as possible with contemporary artists, who are in dialogue with our context and the committed character of Cobra. The trip to Israel confirmed the importance of committed work and has set forth some powerful examples such as the Salamanca group, with whom I would like to work with in the future.’
– ‘As a curator you have a kind of an archive in your mind. Now a number of Israeli artists and museum agents have been added. Furthermore I have become more aware of the overwhelming complexity of Israel, far more overwhelming than I had imagined.’

Yvonne Ploum, Armando Museum, Utrecht
-‘The journey has opened my eyes to the wealth of Israeli art.’
-‘The trip has played a huge role. As I have already mentioned I discovered Israeli art. It has also taught me a lot about the urgent need for art, the important role it can play in the dialogue between nations as well as between people. It also has a role in the expression of positive social developments. This inspires me even more now, in my daily work: expressing clearly the urgent need for art, again and again.’

Hripsime Visser, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
-‘It was special in general to sense the ‘struggle’ within a culture which feels familiar yet different and complex because of the context.’
-‘Several artists have caught my eye and interest’.

Jacqueline Grandjean, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
-‘Personally and professionally the journey was unforgettable. It has offered me the opportunity to view the world from another perspective and to approach the complexity of Israel as pars pro toto for our universe.’

Bernadette van Woerkom, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
-‘Although the field of contemporary Israeli art and photography are not unknown to me, the trip was a surprising eye opener for me, concerning the enormous diversity, variety and quality of what was offered to us.’
-‘The huge social and political engagement of many artists in Israel and the sense of urgency and necessity have touched me.’
-‘After all that I have seen and heard I am definitely inspired to follow the developments in Israeli art and photography more closely and to discuss and research with colleagues the possibilities for exhibitions.’

Dominic van den Boogerd, director, De Ateliers (The Studios), Amsterdam (one of the Netherlands’ top post graduate art programs) 
-‘Following the trip I extensively informed my colleagues about my experiences with contemporary art in Israel. It was very educational for me and that has had an impact on our assessment of applications for our post graduate study program. One of the Israeli artists I met during the trip subsequently came to visit De Ateliers. I also invited an Israeli artist for our lecture series.’

Alessandra Laitempergher, curator, Museum Beelden aan Zee (Sculpture by the Sea), The Hague
-‘I’m confident that this trip offers mutually beneficial opportunities to all who are involved. It is a unique opportunity for curators and museum professionals to get in touch with the art scene in Israel, and it offers the opportunity to meet informally with artists of all ages and disciplines. The trip gives a good picture of contemporary art in a very short time without any kind of “filter”. To get a similar experience on your own as an art historian or curator would take years. In addition, the informal setting and the small groups are conducive to having in-depth interviews and meetings. At the same time, the artist not only gets the opportunity to expand their network with excellent contacts; many are then almost immediately visible in the Netherlands, if not directly with an exhibition, then through social media. Since KUNSTENISRAËL has been organising these trips, ‘Israeli contemporary art’ is no longer an abstract concept. To me, this seems a very important result. The trip also inspired our museum to provide a platform for Israeli artists on a structural, ongoing basis.’

Katja Weitering, Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht
-‘This experience has drastically altered and stimulated my thinking about religion, culture, identity and location. I will continue to feel the impact of this trip for a very long time. Ronit is a dream as leader and guide. In a sharp and patient manner, she ‘initiated’ us in the versatility and complexity of Israel. The selected artists were of high quality. In our conversations with them, we attained a broader and richer perspective of contemporary art in an international context.’

Nanda Janssen, independent curator of exhibitions throughout the Netherlands
-‘I thought it was a very professionally organised trip. Ronit had clearly set out a number of themes in the program and invited artists for various reasons, not only for their work but also their various perspectives and cultural backgrounds. I discovered Israel to be a much more complex country than I’d previously thought. There are many shades of grey, mixed forms and hybrids of hybrids in terms of political and social ideas and cultural frameworks. For me, this trip has put Israel on the map. Before that, I avoided the subject, simply because I did not know where to start. Through this journey I have started to study it: both beforehand and since returning.’

Lennard Dost, Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem
-‘It was a true pleasure to experience the country and its art with such a nice group of people. The program was fully packed and qualitatively good, with many beautiful introductions and interesting stories, ideas and people. …In the future, genuine cooperations will result from the relationships initiated during the trip, and for now, it’s a great collection of contacts… We were all positively impressed by the encounters and the excellent accommodation. We didn’t lack anything. Thank you.’