Around 5 Bilu Street

Photography: Anat Ditzian


I was born and raised in Tel Aviv, and today, after more than three decades and before I return to live in the city, I retraced the routes I took on the streets and the boulevard of my childhood and youth.

About a year ago, I returned for an encounter with the city, from the early morning hours, when the city is gradually awakening, through the hectic and crowded traffic during the day, until it gathers up quietly at the end of the day. I looked at the buildings, the trees, and the people. The house I grew up in is still there, with the addition of an awning on the porch and different trees in the yard. A new sign tells passers-by about the artists who once lived there. Most of the buildings, even if their paint has peeled off and new coats have been added, stand tall. Some have a new floor or two added above the roof. The family grocery at 10 Bilu has turned into child nursery school, and the kindergarten on Sheinkin Street is once again a beautiful residential building, but the park on Hashmonaim Street still invites the children to play, and the sandwiches made at Itzik and Ruti's kiosk on Sheinkin Street are still filling.

The permanent and the temporary conduct a dialogue through the human fabric of the diverse ages, and in the unique co-existence between the ultra-Orthodox and the secular, as it has always been. The touch and scent of the trees on Rothschild Boulevard have not changed. Some of the branches have been cut down, but their broad treetops still provide shade and a sense of serenity even in the scorching summer months. In the winter, the rain penetrates the trees and cover the ground with a gleam, and the ground then emits the moist scent and the sound of passing footsteps.

This is my childhood and the space which was my anchor. The photographs, that were created in our renewed encounter, represent the stability and resilience which are the basis of all change, renewal and disintegration, and in the spirit of Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon's poet, in the Book of Disquiet: "The awakening of a city, with or without fog, moves me far more than to breaking of dawn in the country. It's much more of a rebirth, there's much more to look forward to". ((translation by Richard Zenith) (page 176)


Curator: Kineret Palti

Open August 6, 2016