Avi Mograbi

Deportation / 1989 / 12'

16 Beaver
New York, USA



A short film consisting of one scene in which three people are deported from their country. What happens in the film looks less like a deportation than anything else. All the brutal externals of the deportation have been peeled away, to leave the act itself exposed to a moral discussion.

Reuven Dayan
Yankul Goldwasser

Dimitri Shostakovitch

art director:
Michal Japhet

Yosef Grunfeld

Avi Koren

directed, written & produced by:
Avi Mograbi

Avi Mograbi, 5 Bilu Street, Tel Aviv 65222, Israel
tel. 972-3-6858889 fax 972-3-6859154 e-mail mograbi@netvision.net.il

festival of festivals ñ Toronto 1989
Cracow short film Festival (Silver Dragon Award) ñ 1989
Israeli Film Institute Award for Editing 1989
Oberhausen Short Film Festival 1990
Cinema díIsrael ñ Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume ñ Paris 1992
Tales of the Sands ñ The Fruitmarket Gallery ñ Edinburgh 1999
Not to be looked at ñ ArtFocus ñ Jerusalem 1999
Kav 16 Gallery ñ Tel aviv 2002


When, What, Where is 16Beaver (R. G. + H.G.)

When is 16Beaver?
Central to how 16Beaver functions for me is a certain relation to time. A relation that is based on sustenance, sustainability, regularity, continuity, persistence. Not of the the ìforeverî kind, forever remembered in time immemorial, immortal time, 16Beaver forever etc., etc. Not even really of the (not for profit) corporation kind of time, outliving its ìfoundersî, its initial members, serving the community with a clearly formulated mission forever and ever, etc., etc..

But of a time that is tied to now and how (how will we be understood, how will we understand each other, how will we get there, how will we formulate or contest prospective destinations). The question of now is in a sense about accountability. How can one be accountable to the present, to the everyday, in our relations to one another, our community, our public? The question of how is in a sense about a utopia, something that might be imagined, might never come to be, something that encourages thinking about that tomorrow, the roads and structures that still remain unbuilt, unexcavated.

This question of "now" may be more easy to grasp, because it is about immediacy, urgency. It relates to issues that arise from engagement with contemporary socio-political-cultural issues, subjects which interest participants, subjects we are interested in within the context of our work or thinking or everyday being as socially engaged individuals (e.g., Haider and the ìFreedomî party elected in Austria, Sanctions or War against Iraq, Turkeyís continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, Occupation of Palestine, ìHomeland Securityî, "War on Terror", United We Stand, etc. etc., Ö).

The question of "how" is more difficult. It requires time, analysis, interrogation, contestation, debate, etc, etc., Ö . How does one create and maintain community, what would a democracy or a community underway look like? How could one create and inform and encourage a public, a new public, a new relation to a public for oneís own cultural and political practice? How can one realize, or embody the political or cultural practice one is interested in developing?

In relation to both questions of how and now, or to the question of ìWhen is 16Beaverî, our working response, one which has been formulated largely out of action, has been ìeverydayî. It is continuous, regular, a part of oneís everyday, a time which takes place in-between the privacy of oneís thoughts and interests and the publicity of manifesting those thoughts into activities, readings, questions, discussions for a larger group. A time that is allotted to one another, with a certain commitment and a belief that out of that time, that given time, that time spent together, some thing or time or idea(s) may emerge, hows may emerge, hows related to nows.

16Beaver happens together, now, always with the possibility of and a relation to tomorrow, without any promises of permanence.

What is 16Beaver?
In essence, an informal collective of artists, writers, and curators, based in New York, utilizing an open and participatory structure, with no official membership or hierarchy. Key activities are based around regular weekly meetings: reading together, presenting work, organizing panel discussions and screenings. The collective is somewhat unconventional in that although it sometimes germinates collaborations through facilitating conversations between artists, and many of those involved with the group are interested in the potential of collaboration as an alternative practice, it does not exist to produce art. Instead, what 16Beaver produces is a space; a platform to think and to talk; a refuge from day jobs, from the commercial gallery scene; an "optimistic community" to support and produce art, with links to other communities of artists and activists; an alternative version of a New York artworld, determined by artists, curators, thinkers, not economics.

Where is 16Beaver?
16 Beaver Street is the address of a small office building in Lower Manhattan, where since 1999 the group has occupied the 5th floor with half a dozen studios and a communal space for meetings and exhibitions. Set up and run by artists to be financially self-supporting, the studio rents cover the shared space without the need for outside grants. The site was chosen as a deliberate point of insertion into non-art world circuits, with the surrounding neighbourhood focused on finance and tourism, housing the New York Stock Exchange, Battery Park, and the World Trade Center site. In many ways, Lower Manhattan marks the historical core of the city, and offers rich economic and cultural exchanges usually inaccessible to alternative art spaces. Finally, beyond this immediate neighbourhood, 16Beaver email lists function as an extended platform for ideas and for posting information, articles, and open calls. In effect, 16Beaver Group operates as a number of overlapping communities, of studio tenants, meeting participants, and online networks.

16 Beaver Street, 5th fl.
New York, NY 10004
phone: 212.480.2093