Idris, a non-profit mobile artist-run initiative providing emerging and established artists a stage to present their work. Our collaborative structure aspires to bring together different forms of artistic expression and facilitate public engagement with contemporary art.
Idris was born out of the desire to give artists with diverse political, geographical, religious and social backgrounds a space to meet and collaborate. We invite artists to invent, exhibit, and thrive, explore new mediums and create a dialogue. For this reason, we aim at showcasing the work of artists, free of constraints in mediums and techniques.
After over one year of activity in Mendeli Street Tel Aviv, we have freed ourselves from physical spatial constraints and transformed into a mobile initiative; developing new projects in venues both in Israel and abroad. Idris has collaborated with the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA Tel Aviv), with Atar Project and with the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, among others. Idris’s exhibits have been showcased in venues such as the Jaffa Museum of Antiquities, Bezalel MFA Gallery in Tel Aviv, Al Markaz Contemporary Art Gallery in East Jerusalem, and in events such as Hybrid Art Fair in Madrid.
The name Idris brings to mind numerous cultural associations for a variety of people, reflecting both our approach to the space and its goals of bridging, creating and fostering alternative venues of expression in the art field. In Arabic, Baluchi, Persian and Turkish the term Idris is derived from the root درس which is associated with the process of education. As specified in the Encyclopedia of Islam the name originated from the ancient Hebrew term for 'interpreter' and the Quranic Idris is indeed identified with the Biblical Enoch –Enoch's root in Hebrew חנך again reflects the relation to teaching. Enoch is also present in the Ethiopian Orthodox and Old Slavic Bibles. Idris furthermore appears as the protagonist of a number of Irish legends, who refer to a mythical giant proficient in astronomy, poetry and philosophy; stories tell of rivers and slopes in Ireland where if one falls asleep they will wake up either madmen or poets, struck by a creative inspiration. We chose this name as a link among numerous cultures, connecting creativity with education, as we see the collaboration of different artists as a way for them to learn from one another and produce meaningful works. Indeed we seek to provide a productive environment for the artists, where they are encouraged to produce new work and build new links among each other and in relation to their own work, free of the conventional gallery restrictions.