Field Research

The grant

The Field Research grant is awarded by invitation only. The grant supports one year of research, with an option for extending the term, in coordination with the Foundation. The awardee will engage in field activities, research and writing.

The grant aims to promote work done in the social and ideological periphery of Israel’s art field and to become acquainted with the Plastic Arts creative work thriving far from its center. Furthermore, the scholarly discourse will help to critically hone the criteria that guide the evaluation process in the main track of the Foundation’s artist grants.

The researcher`s work will center on artists of his/her choice, per the research topic. As part of the grant, a dedicated sum will be set aside for activities such as supporting artists, curatorial projects, professional assistance and more, per the researcher`s discretion and in coordination with the Foundation.

The budget may assist artists in their work directly or indirectly, in coordination with the researcher and the concurrence of the artist. It will not be possible to apply for a Foundation Artist grant before completing participation in the research.

  The researcher is free to choose the research point of view and maintains the copyright for it. Upon completion of the research, the names of the participating artists and the researcher’s paper will be published at the Foundation’s website.

The 2022-2023 researcher:

Albert Suissa

Author, curator, and essayist writing on criticism of art and the art field.

Research Topic:  Creating, Beyond Objects

Between the unprecedented expansion of the art field and its orders, and the enormous entrepreneurship of the “art culture” by state institutions and private entrepreneurs, one wonders whether there are still artists or creative forces that have been excluded or willingly escaped the almighty coordinate grid that seemingly rules over the whole tangible realm of this two-pronged system – human and cultural, representational and semantic. The question arises if, despite all the goodwill, in an era when electronic social and cultural networks are open to all and reach the artists living in the Israeli public space directly and unmediated, there are still pockets of artistic creation that evade this all-powerful radar. Has the electronic network neutralized the geographical power balance between center and periphery, between the tangible and the electronic art fields and those outside of them? Is there life beyond the network/field?

For my research, I position the attitude toward the art object as a starting point and a standard. The “art object” is the consensus but also the point of contention between the center of the old and the new field of Israeli art and the array of new entrepreneurs and state and institutional patrons, along with the magnates of both institutional and free markets of the art industry operating in the realm of cultural production, to sustain and advance art as a universal value that structures and engages communities. However, the “art object” is often interpreted as an “art product,” – which is the value accepted by all, where it all begins and ends in the real and symbolic realm of doing and acting in the art field, despite the different value judgment of the “object” by these two partners/joint fields.

I propose to look at pockets of activity and artistic being wherever they are, which exist on their own and not necessarily as a “product,” addressing the collective art and culture fields. I am interested in the possibility of a life of artistic creation that occurs in the real and intimate space very near the artist, where the “art object” is a secondary or unlikely product, often superfluous or lacking significance in and of itself. I will examine the achievement/creation act in the existential realm between the completely private, hidden, and unaware, and that which denies the private and turns to the distinctly social and communal as an essential partnership, and not as a product mediated by the field/establishment for its cultural or political needs.