The Self and the Other – Bilateral Illustration Project

Can a picture say more than a thousand words? The bi-national exhibition project “The Self and the Other” organised by the Bilderbuch Museum, Troisdorf and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem explores what happens when both appear together. For a thousands words at the very minimum will be exchanged by the participants from Germany and Israel as they enter into dialogue in professional tandems and live under one roof as artistic duos, thus also spending their day-to-day lives together. 

Around twelve respected illustrators from the two countries set out on a yearlong journey, with the Israeli participants getting the ball rolling by travelling to where their German colleagues are based. It’s about getting together and starting a dialogue, about presenting the familiar and experiencing the strange – and about working together intensively on illustrations that accompany and document the process of getting used to the other person. At a shared workshop, all the participants come together as a group to consolidate what they have experienced and worked on, which then in turn forms the basis for further work.

During the second phase of the project, the tandem partners from Germany then make their way to Israel for the return visit. The way in which the self and the other behave towards one another, enter into a relationship and generate something new is further intensified here on both a personal and professional level. The result: a rich stock of illustration work revolving around such themes as interculturality and diversity that is not restricted to one concrete subject or style. The meeting comes to a close with joint exhibitions in Germany and Israel as well as a catalogue, which equally form the foundation stone for new relationships between the institutions and participants involved.

“The Self and the Other” is a bi-national exhibition project organised by the Burg Wissem Bilderbuchmuseum in Troisdorf in collaboration with the Department of Visual Communication at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. It takes place between March 1, 2013 and November 30, 2014 and brings together five to six German and Israeli illustrators for periods of joint work and a group workshop in each of the two countries. The project is brought to a close with an exhibition and a catalogue.