Thousands descended upon the Israel Museum Thursday night for Contact Point, the now-annual night-long celebration that is part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture, the summertime event that takes a different look at music, art and food in the city.
From the impromptu game of soccer with players from the capital’s Hapoel Katamon squad in front of the Shrine of the Book to the silent dance party for headphone wearers on the plaza surrounding Anish Kapoor’s reflective stainless steel sculpture, the evening was one of wonder and appreciation.
Visitors watched a giant sculpture of lumber remnants come together over the course of the evening, as a perfectly round moon shone in the sky. They lined up, agreeably, waiting to be served the evening meal from the now-well-known FoodTrip van, having previously registered as an “artist” in order to be served food by installation artist Hadas Ophrat.
Inside the museum, there were jazz artists in the “Color Gone Wild” exhibit, those participating in a social experiment that had people walking around with numbers on their foreheads, and others boogying down to a klezmer-Bollywood mashup in the massive corridor below the “Herod the Great” exhibit.
Wide circles of people would gather at a predetermined spot inside and outside, waiting to hear stand-up routines, to listen to the cadence of poets, or to participate in a scene of performance art. The idea, said Dena Scher, a museum spokesperson, is to become an active participant in the museum, for one night. This was the fourth year of Contact Point, with dozens of artists creating singular “contact points” with the museum, its artworks and the audience.