LABA BCN brings together artists from all backgrounds and disciplines to study classical Jewish
texts, experiment, and explore the futures of Jewish art and culture.
LABA BCN offers an annual creative fellowship program for up to 10 scholarship artists. We study
from Judaism’s rich literary and intellectual traditions, in a free and creative setting so that these
fertile ideas and stories spark new thoughts and creative work. The outputs from our laboratory
push the boundaries of what Jewish culture can be and what Jewish texts can teach.
Nathalie Kertesz is a visual artist, curator and architect, born in Jerusalem, lives in Barcelona. She holds a B.Arch from the Bezalel Academy of Art and design, and an M.A. in Architecture and Urban Culture, form the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), in collaboration with the CCCB. Nathalie exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, as well as curated art and cultural exhibitions. As co-founder and Artistic director of Laba BCN, Nathalie seeks to foster connections and inspire dialogue within the art community, creating spaces where diverse perspectives can coexist and flourish.
YIFAT HALLEL ZVIRIN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Yifat Hallel Zvirin, a cultural manager originally from Tel Aviv-Yafo, now resides in Barcelona. She holds a B.Sc. in design from the Holon Institute of Technology, an MA in visual culture studies from the University of Barcelona, and an MA in design and exhibition management from Elisava in Barcelona. After five years in Barcelona, she returned to Israel in 2008, contributing significantly to the local cultural scene for six years as Deputy Director of the Arts Department in Tel Aviv Municipality. During her seven-year tenure as Cultural Diplomacy Manager for the Polish Institute-Tel Aviv, she facilitated numerous artistic projects and collaborations between Israel and Poland. In June 2023, Yifat relocated with her family back to Barcelona.
DR. ZE'EV MAOR - RESIDENT SCHOLAR
Ze`ev Maor grew up in Jerusalem and lives in Barcelona, Ze`ev holds a PhD in Philosophy (summa cum
laude) from the European Graduate School (EGS) Switzerland, a Master degree in Architecture and
Urban studies from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona (UPC), and a Master degree in
Environmental philosophy from the Hebrew university of Jerusalem. His academic Book:
Mythopoetica: Holderlin and Bialik in a Hermeneutical Encounter, was published by Atropos Press,
NY/Dresden 2013. As a curator and visual artist, Ze’ev has presented his work in museum exhibitions
and art galleries in Israel and Europe. His writings in prose and poetry have been published in
Hebrew literary journals. Ze`ev Maor is a co-founder of LABA BCN and a founding director of the:
Beit Midrash for Jewish thought in Barcelona.
NOELIA BERNARDEZ - PROJECT MANAGER
Noelia, an Argentinian historian based in Spain, specializes in Jewish history and holds an MA in Jewish Studies from the University of Heidelberg. As the Project Manager of the LABA Barcelona hub, she oversees institutional communication and event coordination, while also engaging in research on textual analysis of Second Temple period writings and actively contributing to projects promoting Jewish heritage in Catalunya, such as the Beit Midrash for Jewish Thought of Barcelona and the Mozaika platform.
Drumroll please… or maybe, more appropriate – a whisper. we’re excited to announce that the next LABA theme is NIGHT.
NIGHT, in the Jewish imagination, is both a matter of time and a state of mind. Our days begin at night, the arrival of three stars is our first sign of tomorrow. Our calendar is lunar, our months and years obsessively coordinated with the waxing and waning of the moon. Our festivals are backlit by the orb at its fullest.
Night is more than a time marker, however. It is also a paradoxical psychological state, when urges too messy, too irrational, and too wild for the day emerge, whether through dreams or behaviors or habits or the thoughts that only voice themselves at 3 am. Night is obscurity, but it is also clarity. Night is freedom, but it is also sometimes cruelty. Only in darkness can some truths be revealed. The cosmos began with night, and from night the very atoms humming our bodies came. We can never know ourselves fully, as a person or a people, without a deep understanding of night.
This year at LABA we will explore the theme of NIGHT in the ancient Jewish canon. We will look at how and why NIGHT anchors us, liberates us, terrifies us through a study of evocative stories from the Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Zohar and more. We will consider the role of NIGHT in the life of culture-makers, and the ways in which culture-makers are the “NIGHTS” of people — truth-tellers, tricksters, beauty-makers, and deep sea subconscious divers. Most importantly, we’ll have a great time talking, eating, drinking, learning, and laughing in the lush, fertile, free-flowing, romantic, super-serious, and endlessly playful environment of LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture.
We invite you to point your flashlight towards uncharted territories–places you might cherish, wish to destroy, or both– and propose new work inspired by what night brings up in you. All mediums accepted, and the strange and unconventional are always welcome.
Application for LABA 2024 fellowship program is now open! Application dates: January 22nd- February 19th LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Art and Culture LABA brings together artists from all backgrounds and disciplines to study classical Jewish texts, experiment, and explore the futures of Jewish art and culture. LABA is a non-religious house of study
LABAbel – Art & Study event June 10th, 2023, 19–22 hrs Casa Adret – Calle Salomo ben Adret 6, Barcelona. We are pleased to invite you to the launching event of Laba Barcelona, at Casa Adret LABA brings together artists from all backgrounds and disciplines, to study classical Jewish texts, to experiment and to explore