Tag Archives: art

Geppetto from South Tel-Aviv

Anton 18-s

A year ago, while filming a movie at the Neve-Tzedek quarter in south Tel-Aviv, I “accidentally” picked through one of the house’s window. I know it’s not a very polite thing to do, but the next thing I did was even ruder: I knocked on the window and asked the interesting looking man inside the room if I could possibly take his picture. The man raised his head from the thing he was doing and luckily agreed. That was my first encounter with Anton Avramov. “What are you doing?” I asked him with growing curiosity, and he pointed his finger toward the hangers hanging over his head and said: “I create figures from metal wire”.

The Artist-s

After that coincidental meeting I couldn’t just leave things for chance and scheduled a meeting with Anton where I was going to document him during his work. When we met again, Anton wanted to sculpture a whole band of musicians. He arranged his working tools on the floor of the workshop’s yard and started working with an amazing pace. While I was filming him working, the little figures started to round on the table: A pianist, a trumpeter, a drummer, a harmonica player and a guitarist. “How did you come up with working with a metal wire?” I’ve asked him, amazed. Anton kept his fingers working and told me his story.

Anton 14-s

Anton grew up in Bulgaria, and as a little child he liked playing at his uncle yard. He was especially drawn to the copper wires his uncle stacked at the back of the shed, but it was out of his reach, and his uncle forbade him from touching the material since it was very expensive. In 2002 Anton immigrated to Israel and lived in Kibbutz Ein-Hashofet. As a youth Anton worked at the Kibbutz factory where they manufactured chokes for light bulbs. Anton was very happy to discover that chokes are made from copper wires. The turning point was when his boss gave him a pliers as a present, and he started to play with the desired material. But the pliers had no cutter in it, so Anton had to work with the wire without cutting it. “I can’t really say, it’s very natural for me” Anton told me, “When I see objects I imagine them as one continuous line”.

Anton 4-s

Anton discovered his art by chance, after looking for it in architecture and acting studies. From the acting he probably got his unique and dramatic appearance and his love for inventing characters. Since he began sculpturing with metal wire he made a large variety of artifacts: little delicate figures, portraits and even gigantic objects made with vice, welder and metal chain cutter.

Anton finished his band of musicians and set them on the table. Suddenly, it seemed as if they were coming to life and started playing music. You are welcome to watch the clip and judge for yourself:

Video: Yaniv Berman

Artist: Anton Avramov

Music: Old Fish Jazz Band

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Haunted Houses – “Magen” Factory at Derech HaShalom

“Magen” Factory was built by the Israel Military Industry in Tel-Aviv at 1950. The factory manufactured weapons as the “Uzi” machine gun and the “Galil” rifle, up unit 1996. During that process a lot of chemical waste was buried in the ground. At 1997 the first signs of the terrible neglect has surfaced, when a ground test results has shown that the whole area is heavily contaminated with dangerous metals and chemicals. The ground water was also contaminated and at least 25 wells had to be closed down.

It took another 15 long years for the government to dig out the contaminated soil and transport it to a special chemical waste facility. But now the damage was too great, and 10 kilometer square of underground water was infected. All the development plans for the area had to be postponed until better results would be found.

The only people that enjoy the current status-qua are a few graffiti artists that turned the empty factory into their own art gallery. Brave urban explorers who ventures into the area can now enjoy 4 floors of the finest graffiti art of disturbing images about destruction and human evil.

Camera and editor: Yaniv Berman

Music: Bernard Herrmann

“Magen” Factory on XNet


Haunted Houses – 57 Jabotinsky Street – Chapter 2 – Destruction

After 74 years the Rama Theater, sitting on 57 Jabotinsky Street, is being torn down. In the next months a 22-story high-rise will erupt from under the rubble and only a sad looking wall of shame will remind us of the place it once was. The rain is falling, the walls are crying and the memories are slowly washed down and are seeping into the filthy ground, where the Rama Theater is buried, deep inside the decaying history of a city that wants to forget. May our regrets rest in peace…

Camera and editor: Yaniv Berman

Music: Le Orme

57 Jabotinsky Street – Part 1


Haunted Houses – 57 Jabotinsky Street – Chapter 1 – The Deserted

The old “Rama” cinema theatre was designed by the German-Polish engineer Leopold Lustig, with influence of the great Art-Deco buildings of the thirties. The structure was completed with the aid of engineer Israel Michaeli in 1938, and was the pride of the Jewish settlement. The impressive structure sits on 1,178 square meters, and in its glory days thousand spectators sat inside the main hall and gallery. “Rama” theatre flourished in the years preceding the Israeli declaration of independence, and was a drawing center to the entire population of Jewish people and Muslims that lived in the area.

In the 80th the competition between the cinemas was hard and a theatre with only one great hall playing just one movie at a time couldn’t bring enough audience to cover all the expanses.  1982 was the year when the “Rama” theatre was terminally closed. From that moment the deserted theatre began to rot, and in 1992 a part of the ceiling fell and made a lot of internal damage. On the other hand, this rotting process gave the place a life of its own. Straying cats, doves and bats made this place their new home. Also people came from time to time and enjoyed the special atmosphere of the place, and some of them even left their artistic mark behind.

During the long years that the “Rama” theatre sat lonely and deserted, it has changed many hands, and also collected a huge property tax debt to the city. In a very controversial decision the city decided to cut the debt in more than 70%, so it could be sold to a new owner who will be able to revive it. Even though this place is considered to be “historic” and should be treated as such, the new owner decided to build a tower residential building of 23 floors, preserving only the front wall of the old Art-Deco Theater. In November 2011 the bulldozers arrived and started the process of destroying the old structure, and making it a new residential monster.

(The vision and the destruction)

During the following months I’ll keep documenting the new “Rama” project, and bring further updates.

Jabotinsky 27 on XNET.


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