Natan Karczmar (born January 3, 1933 in Paris), is a cultural organizer in the fields of theater and the diffusion of art, mainly in France, Canada, and Israel. He is also an artist in the art of communication as well as a painter and photographer.
Audiovisual diffusion of art
A continuous aspect of his work is the realization of projects devoted to the diffusion of art. Pioneer in audiovisual diffusion of art through film, video and Internet, Natan Karczmar organizes in 1954 a festival of films on art in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, in Israel. Moving to Montreal, Quebec, She creates the Canadian Museum of Film on Art in 1956 and distributes the programs in 40 Canadian cities. In 1960, he organizes the Mexican Museum of Film on Art (Museo Mexicano de Peliculas sobre Art), and in 1962, the American Institute of Film on Art. In 1963, a meeting of the International Museum of Film on Art was held in Montreal.
Centre Canadien d'Essai – Canadian Workshop Center
Simultaneously, Natan Karczmar starts in 1957 the theater of the Centre canadien d'Essai or Canadian Workshop Center at the Fine Art School of Montreal. He presents one hundred productions until 1964, combining theater, and mainly one act plays, contemporary dance, poetry and music. In 1958, he organizes the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, sculpture and graphic arts.
In 1983, back in Israel, Natan Karczmar went on with his theatrical activity by creating the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Street Theater showing his play The Sandclock (Noa's adventures).
Related to the Centre Canadien d'Essai, Natan Karczmar publishes several Cahiers d'Essai and created the Editions d'Essai. Published were the Young Poetry Award J'ai choisi la mort by Guy Lafond as well as Ballades du temps précieux by Pierre Perrault illustrated by Anne Treze. Natan Karczmar started also the Editions Graph which published albums by the following sculptors and printmakers from Quebec: Armand Vaillancourt, Albert Roussil, Anne Kahane, Marcel Braitstein, Roland Giguère, Léon Bellefleur, Stanley Lewis and André Montpetit. In 1967, he publishes the first book on Canadian sculpture at the occasion of the World Fair Terre des Hommes in Montreal with a presentation by William Withrow and a foreword by Natan Karczmar. The photography was by Bruno Massenet.
Video publishing: Art Planet, the interactive museum. In 1989, Natan Karczmar created the bimonthly Art Planet video magazine which was distributed in one hundred modern and contemporary art museums around the world. In the framework of Art Planet, he organizes the Interactive Museum with real time visits at distance of museum exhibitions by using amplified telephone, video and slides, prefiguring thus Internet visioconferencing. The first presentation of the Interactive Museum happened in 1989 at the Art Planet Pavillon with the collaboration of the French FR3 broadcasting station, at the Grand palais, in Paris, during L'Europe des Créateurs event. Interactive Museum events were also held in 1992 at the UNESCO International Council of Museums congress in Quebec. He presented Art Planet in 1989 at the Canadian museums meeting at the Canadian Museum of Civilisation, in Hull, in Canada, and at the American museums meeting in New-Orleans, USA.
Internet Publishing : Artmag In April 1996, he founded the first art magazine on Internet http://www.artmag.com/ which presents temporary museum and gallery exhibitions around the world. Anguéliki Garidis is the artistic director and editor.
Art/Communication/New Technologies Seminar (ArtComTec)
From 1992 until 1994, he directs the Art/Communication/New Technologies Seminar at Université Européenne de la Recherche, at the Ministère de la Recherche, 1 rue Descartes, in Paris and invites many lecturers : Philippe Quéau, Jean-Marc Philippe, Jacques Jaffelin, Michel Bret, Pierre Lévy (philosophe), Fred Forest, Edmond Couchot, Stephan Barron, Frank Popper, Jean-Louis Boissier, Monique Nahas, Hervé Huitric, Merkado, Norbert Hillaire, Pierre Restany, Jean-Claude Anglade, Philippe Helary, Christian Sevette, Isabelle Rieusset-Lemarie, Joël Hubaut, Mario Costa, Jacques Monnier-Raball, Roberto Barbanti, Louis Bec, and Hubertus von Amelunxen.
In 2007 ArtComTec Seminars were held at the Chapelle des Recollets in Paris. Fred Forest, Louis-José Lestocart and Maurice Benayoun were lecturers.
In July 2015 he directed ArtComTec videoconferencing seminars in the framework of ArtCamp at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art University of West Bohemia, Plzen, lecturers were Anat Pick, Annick Bureaud, Delphine Fabbri Lawson, Derrick de Kerckhove, Fernando Bayro-Corrochano, Fred Forest, Gabriel V. Soucheyre, Gilbertto Prado, Katerina Thomadaki, Marie Sylviane Buzin, Maurice Benayoun, Olga Kisseleva, Olivier Auber, Thomas Klinkowstein et Mauricio Dwek.
Journalist : Natan Karczmar was also active as an artistic journalist. He collaborated to the French division of Kol Israel (Israeli broadcasting) in 1953–54. He also worked as a musical critic for the French daily L'Echo d'Israël 1952–54 and as an art critic for the weekly Réalités d'Israël from 1982 to 1984.
With Jean-Pierre Faye, president of L'Université Européenne de la Recherche and the collaboration of Anguéliki Garidis, Natan Karczmar organizes in 2007 the Centre Averroès-Maïmonides devoted to the Judeo-Christian dialog and produces visioconferences between Paris and Israeli institutions having inter-community cultural activities.
Painter and photographer
From 1969, Natan Karczmar devotes himself to painting and shows non-objective works in 1970 at Galerie Entremonde in Paris and at the Center Art Gallery in New-York. His artistic demarche includes also photography and lithography, in particular photomontages. Until 1983, he had shows in Canada, USA, Europe and Israel.
In 1983, he organized "Installation Contact" (Mivne Maga) on the Kings Square (now Rabin Square), then in Haifa at Beth Rotschild and at the Acco Theater Festival with many games of communication, including 24 telephones in a closed circuit. In 1984, he met Fred Forest who invited him to join the group of Aesthetics of Communication which gathers theoreticians and artists using various technologies to produce communication works, networks, performances and installations. Artists, theoreticians, philosophers, art critics and institutional officials that have contributed to Aesthetics of communication include : Philippe Quéau, Jean-Marc Philippe, Jacques Jaffelin, Michel Bret, Pierre Lévy, and countless others. He also took part in the « L'immaginario tecnologico, Benevento, Museo del Sannio » curated by Mario Costa, and organized the « ARTCOM ISRAEL 1984 » Symposium at Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Haifa Museum and Tzavta Center in Tel Aviv with Fred Forest and Antonio Muntadas as guest lecturers.
Videocollectives and installations
He begins his art video activities by organizing in November 1984, in Israel, the first « Collective and Simultaneous Video Event ». The simultaneity occurs thanks to the collaboration of a radio broadcasting station which gives the starting cue to videomakers. In 1985, he organizes a second vidéo event in Salerno, Italy, in the framework of « ARTMEDIA 1 » directed by Prof. Mario Costa at Salerno University. Many videocollectives have been following and among them « VIDEO 6e » in the sixth borough in Paris with the participation of 22 videomakers. In 1986, he takes part to ARTMEDIA II in Salerno with the installation and video action « Investig'Action ». He co-organizes with Fred Forest the international symposium Artcom Paris 1986 at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and assiste Wolfgang Ziemer in the organization of Artcom Cologne 1986. In 1987, a Video twinning between the towns of Lille, Cologne, Liège, Asch-sur-Alzette and Grenoble is organized in the framework of the European Year of Environment with the participation of 60 videomakers. In 1988, he takes part to the Transinteractifs with « Transintercaricatures » between Paris and Toronto. That same year, the videocollective event « Vive la Tour » is organized for the preparation to the Centennial of the Tour Eiffel with the collaboration of Antenne 2 Broadcasting station, France Inter and France Info radio stations. He participates to a video installation Paris-Cologne at « Worauf Warten Sie » at Fermate at the Alter Wartesaal in Cologne. In 1990 he participates to Arttransition at the Center for advanced visual studies (CAVS) at M.I.T. At Cambridge, Mass. He participates in 1992 to the International Symposium « L'Europe de la Deuxième Renaissance » in Paris. He is also invited in England, Spain, Finlande, Hollande, Italy, USA, Canada and Russia to museums meetings.
Partnership with Vidéoformes : Since 2002, the Videocollectives http://videocollectifs.jimdo.com/ are partners with the International Vidéoformes Festival in Clermont-Ferrand where they are regularly presented and archived. They are produced by many videomakers around the world.
At the occasion of the launching of Art Planet in 1989 at the Grand Palais in Paris during L'Europe des Créateurs, he publishes a text describing his actions and those of other artists, presenting them as « Relationnism ». He distinguishes it thus from Aesthetics of Communication which privileges the medium, the container, rather than the content of communicational actions and events while Relationnism grants an equal importance to the container and the content. The attention is given as much to the technological medium than to the content in the creation of communicational works and in art of communication.
In the framework of the Festival Vidéoformes 2013, Natan Karczmar updated at the Corum Saint-Jean in Clermont-Ferrand the exhibition presented in 1983 at the Installation Contact produced at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv (now Rabin Square). Portraits on the themes of the smile, the wink, and grimaces were taken, projected and put online on the site http://funface.co/
Actions and theme
As an artist of communication and organizer of events, his actions include the telephone, video, fax, Internet, radio, installations, symposiums and seminars. His main themes are ubiquity, simultaneity, interactivity, collective actions, events, ephemeral and the trace.
In, 2004, a commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first festival of film on art held in 1954 is organized at the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Cinematheques with the collaboration of André Parinaud, founder of the International Festival of Film on Art at UNESCO.
In 2007, a commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the Centre Canadien d'Essai is organized with the collaboration if six Maisons de la Culture in Montréal. In this framework, 2 visioconferences are held with the cooperation of the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris and la Maison de la Culture of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in Montréal.
In 2009, a retrospective is organized at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of « Videocollectives » at the International Vidéoformes Festival in Clermont-Ferrand as well as in 5 Israeli cinematheques (Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Rosh-Pina, Sderot). A restrospective of Videocollectives is also presented at the International Traces de Vie festival in Clermont-Ferrand.