We escape our daily burdens into the virtual, into the wild, into indulgences and alternative identities and cultures. We escape ruling paradigms into moments of pure pleasure. We balance the strain of daily life by turning our backs to it – for a day or for a lifetime, as a form of rebellion or by moving with the crowds to new and seductive distractions.
Yet increasingly, we are reminded that our escape comes at a cost. As we become aware of the social, political, ecological and cultural effects of Western life, our escapism gets tainted by the marks it leaves on the world. Every flight we take reminds us of its carbon footprint, every fancy meal we eat reminds us of the distress of the farmers and animals who had to labor and die for it to be served to us, every film reminds us of the industry’s systemic inequality, every gadget reminds us of the workers who toiled to make it. Try as we might to ignore it, our little vacations constantly remind us of the toll they ask of us.
In its role as a festival, an escapist form in itself, Jerusalem Design Week 2021 aims to revive and cover itself with what might seem at first glance an untainted form of escapism. After all, this wonder is the mother of all festivals, the hall of entertainment, the traveling circus. A conflicted being, it is both wondrous and dangerous, inclusive and exploitative, magical and technological, wholesome and dark. It is an epitomization of human potential, and as it disassembles, it reminds us of our inability to fulfil it. It shows us the wonders of the world and nature, while pointing at the cost of bringing it to us. The circus is a place where the purest escapism and harsh realities meet.
Through its one week of existence, Runaway Circus will explore escapism’s bright facade and dark backstage, and might seem to offer us a moment of solace, as design also often does. But it just might also remind us that reality is inescapable, and that whatever we do is always a reflection of what we are.
About the Jerusalem Design Week
Jerusalem Design Week is pleased to hold its tenth edition! Jerusalem Design Week has been held under the mangment of the Hansen House Center for Design, Media and Technology since 2011. Hansen House hosts a spectrum of diverse activities throughout the year to promote the design sector in Jerusalem and Israeli designers in general. Jerusalem Design Week is the main event in the tapestry of Hansen House’s annual activities and constitutes its flagship project, as the largest and most influential public design event in Israel. In 2016, the Jerusalem Design Week expanded and became an international event that takes place in several locations throughout Jerusalem, and offers a multitude of events, performances and local and international design exhibitions. Each year, the Jerusalem Design Week focuses on a central theme that examines unique Jerusalem and Israeli situations having international relevance, with the idea that the unique cultural landscape in Israel allows it to serve as a kind of living laboratory exploring urgent global issues, and with the belief that design must respond to these issues. The Jerusalem Design Week is an initiative of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage Affairs and the Jerusalem Development Authority and is being managed by the Ran Wolf Company.”
2021 Design Week team
General management: Smadar Tsook and Ran Wolf, Ran Wolf Ltd.
Artistic director: Anat Safran
Chief curator: Tal Erez
Curatorial assistant: Tal Golani
Production coordinator: Yael Hershkowitz
Media and marketing: Karine Shabtai, Ran Wolf Ltd.
Technical production: Benda Production Ltd.
Graphic design: Yoav Perry and Dan Ozeri
Web development: Meir Sadan
Local PR: Mira Ann Beinart
International PR: Vera Sacchetti, Inês Revés
Digital marketing: MODUS