Matter Of Fact

A curatorial project which examines the value and meaning of local design and production today through the prism of the ceramics industry.

What would have happened if a local ceramic housewares factory had survived the upheavals of time and kept on manufacturing to this day?

For six decades the Lapid ceramics company manufactured cheap, useful table and sanitary wares that became common and distinguishable in most homes in Israel. During the eighties, as part of a global financial shift and with little care as to the ability of local manufacturers to withstand the change, import taxes were lifted for many products, including ceramic wares. The local market was flooded with cheap merchandise that rapidly eroded the value of locally manufactured goods. In less than a decade from this change, the Lapid factory closed for good, along with all the other ceramic tableware producers in the country.

What if the factory had managed to survive this devastating change and continue production up until today? The imaginary successor of Lapid, whose products and production lines are depicted in the exhibition, is a case study for the potential ceramic industry in Israel. The exhibitors have imagined themselves as the designers of this factory and have filled the production lines with industrially made objects that reflect their outlook on utility, locality, efficiency, production and aesthetics.

The disappearance of the ceramic industry in Israel is part of a broader decline of industry in the West in general in the last few decades. This trend raises public debate as to its causes and effects, and as to the economic, technological and social aspects involved. While these issues play vital roles in examining productivity and industry, this exhibition highlights another discussion. It examines the connection and dialogue between industry and culture, and the repercussions of this connection on the material environment, on cultural intellectual property, and on local identity.


Commissioned: Beit Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Mifal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts
Collaborators: Jhonathan Hopp(Co- curator)
Photographer: Studio-Shahar Tamir, Space- Shay Ben Efraim

Designed by studio Reddish

‘fragment’ Studio Reddish, naama steinbok & idan friedman

Designed by Dov Ganchrow

‘duomorph’, designed by shira keret and itay laniado

‘wheel painting’, designed by shay nipossi and andrey grishko