in search of the familiar

I wrote about the Tzfat blue a while back here, including a mention of our present house color. Hopefully, I will write something about the colors of the houses in Murano, and our search for the Tzfat blue there.

Maybe I’m looking for the blue because we are going to have to change the color in order to get the house ready for selling.

Maybe I liked Venice so much because it reminded me of Tzfat. We look for the familiar. That’s how we learn.

What is the same? Narrow streets. Interesting people. Unusual sights. Lots of people. Music; noise; so many languages. Deliciously good food; too many tempting treats. Great wine. And lots of new choices of beer for the hot weather that both shared.

What was different? Tzfat is not humid; Venice is. Full stop. Maybe not so many other things, after all. Both cities are a little shabby, a little down on their luck, but both with some very over-the-top extravagances. Okay, more Venice than Tzfat. But, of course, because Venice is larger, there will be more of that. And by extension, more shopping.

Also: Stones versus Plaster.

Tzfat’s alleyways
a typical Venice alleyway
a typical Venice alleyway

Blues versus Pinks.

Tzfat blue in the Artists' Quarter
Tzfat blue in the Artists’ Quarter
the pinks of Venice
the pinks of Venice

And the waterways? Definitely different.

Not actually Tzfat, but Tiveria (Tiberias). But it's the lake that is seen from Tzfat!
Not actually Tzfat, but Tiveria (Tiberias). But it’s the lake that is seen from Tzfat!
One of so very many lovely waterways of Venice
One of so very many lovely waterways of Venice

What the heck–here’s another.

Another Venice waterway that captured my heart.
Another Venice waterway that captured my heart.

Windows. Looking beyond and looking in.

Tzfat window
Tzfat window
a window of Venice
a window of Venice

Yes. Similar Ottoman architectural influences.

Both places, open to the world. We were pleasantly pleased about how comfortable Venice was for us as Jews. That’s not a little thing these days, unfortunately. There were multiple viewings of Israelis (Hebrew being one of the known languages that we heard. Often.), Hasidim, other recognizable Jewish types. טיפוסים, as they say. Characters. But comfortable. We were in Murano when I noticed that we hadn’t heard any Hebrew all day. As if on cue, a speed boat zipped by us with the pilot shouting מה נשמע? What’s new? Yes, there were three women in the boat who we had met the day before, and yes, another woman had told us about an Israeli tour guide who will take you to Murano in his boat, but still…

And the Biennale, even with its forcing of politics into art, still featured this spirit of cooperation. We need everyone and everyone’s spirit of innovation.  Among all the countries featured, the city itself had a pavilion, showing artists and tech people from all over the world working together.

This year, la Biennale di Venezia has chosen to become directly involved in the Venice Pavilion – stated President Paolo Baratta – in an initiative that is time-honoured yet looks to the future. The Pavilion, which was once dedicated to the Applied Arts as well, relies on this new initiative to pick up that thread, though in a different, up-to-date, direction: the most recent applications of advanced technology”.

Go there also to see what he says about a shared vocabulary. Essential. I am sharing some of it here, although I am not responsible for the translation…

A Shared Vocabulary

By the curator of the Venice Pavilion, Aldo Cibic
I gradually got to know these manufacturing sectors, a very direct relationship was built up with the players of these stories; this has allowed me to learn closely how these people think and work. From the detailed exchange that developed, some reasoning emerged repeatedly that led me to recognise a “shared vocabulary”: these are words and concepts that recur constantly in the accounts of those who made and shared their stories.
Backwards and Forwards
In all creative processes one starts with an idea, but the strength lies in continuing to question oneself, perhaps fundamentally rethinking what was thought at first in order to find a new path.
Tending towards
It is important to put yourself in a position of being able to continue to open up to possibilities that have not yet been discerned, without being afraid of what you do not yet know, and this is a process that never ends. You can only succeed in doing something new, with an original identity.
Without it you cannot know what is going on around you: it constitutes the key to discovering new worlds, and is the attitude that allows you to make good use of all that has stimulated you, in order to be able to summarise and express a thought that is only yours.
This is the ability to move outside of one’s specific area, to accommodate different points of view, to find new paths, looking at art and other cultural experiences as activators of new ideas.
Inventing is a rare thing, an adventure, which can take many years before arriving at a result. An invention, to be such, must respond to the concept of usefulness and requires ingenuity, courage, perseverance, determination, luck. In certain contexts, there is more willingness to invest on what does not yet exist, with the idea that the invention should be accepted and developed.
A common denominator in many important stories, which have a turning point thanks to targeted or casual meetings; this is an alchemy that in many cases facilitates access to the dynamics of relationships that have brought these realities to a higher quality level.
Aesthetics of Difficulty
The belief of having never achieved a satisfactory result: you can and want continuously to improve. It is a path that stretches ahead without end and which allows you to surf on excellence.
Productive Community
Finding everything you need to make a great project within a few miles; a closeness that produces at least two effects: the ease of transfer of components and, above all, the possibility for people to meet “face to face”, to develop their products. This favours the growth of a solid production community, characterised by a wide variety of knowledge and founded on the principles of collaboration and empathy. (My emphasis)
at the Vienna Pavilion, Biennale 2015
at the Vienna Pavilion, Biennale 2015
Do you see how much we all can learn from here?



4 thoughts on “in search of the familiar

    1. Thank you! I do have lots and lots of photos of the lovely people of Tzfat, most that I haven’t put up yet, but some from last year. Here’s one of my favorites!

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