Works In Public Spaces
Noman, 2011, in the project Visit Nomansland, with Muslala and The Self Broadcasting Authority.
Cement, H 178 cm (located near the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem)
I created Noman as part of the artistic project Visit Nomansland, initiated and curated by the Muslala group and The Self Broadcasting Authority on 2011.
The territory was declared no-man's-land during the years 1949-1967, until the 6 days war, and was the border between Israel and Jordan. It is still quite evident that this is the seam between east and west Jerusalem. This place, specifically in the area around the Damascus Gate, is to this day a sensitive place, a kind of a thermometer to how high the flames are.
For several years I was active with the women's organization Machsomwatch (checkpoint watch). I would go once a week with a partner to a checkpoint somewhere in the territories, write a report and usually help some Palestinians with different problems while trying to cross into Israel (passage, permits, health issues etc.).
This particular spot used to be a place where the border police detained Palestinian passers-by to check their IDs and permits, and if there would be the slightest suspicion they would be cuffed and made to stand facing the wall until all inquiries would clear them. I was always amazed and infuriated to see people passing by, completely indifferent, as if it was a mundane sight. As if it is normal to see a person standing facing the wall with his hands cuffed.
I placed the sculpture in this particular spot to bring to the surface the subject too many people are trying to ignore and sweep under the rug, to make it evident and permanent. The image of a man half inside the wall is not only the detained Palestinian, but a reflection of the situation of our two people – trapped in a separating and segregating reality.
The sculpture is a cement cast, the same material as the separation wall is made of, the cement also being a very basic and "low" material, so adequate to a Noman.
I perceive this image as a sort of a martyr, hence the hands are so important – cuffed as they are in reality but also as a kind of a stigmata.
Pioneer, 2011, in the project Kibbutz, with the Empty House group
The work was created as part of the project "Kibbutz" of the Empty House group on 2011.
The model for this sculpture was one of the fellow artists who was active in this venture.
Two ideas are encapsulated in my motivation for this installation: The idea of the Kibbutz has become a sort of utopia,
while the socialist ideology deteriorates loosing popularity. The short-term nature of invading a deserted
place and building a temporary practical and philosophical infrastructure, which will allow for transforming the place
into an independent cultural hall, motivated me to sculpt the pioneer from a temporary and crumbling material.
The fresh-drying clay was watered once an hour by small sprinklers, slowing the process of cracking and crumbling
of the clay being exposed to the sun. During the one week happening of the Kibbutz, when the public was invited,
the sculpture cracked and crumbled slowly.
By the end of the week the place was abandoned with all the art and infrastructure in it, including the pioneer, left to deteriorate to dust.
Matters of Colour in, 2014, in the project: In its Heart a Wall
Muslala, curator: Matan Israeli
The definition of our identity is composed of colours, among other things - political identity, gender identity,
identity of nationality. To mention some of the relevant colours from the last period - the yellow badge,
the pink triangle, the green line, the purple line, the orange shirt, the blue shirt with the white/red string,
women in black, and white and blue flag versus green-black-red-white . And then, green ID, and until recently there
was also an orange one (Palestinians residing in the occupied territories) and the privileged blue ID.
In the case of the green line (or purple, for that matter), the colour defines a space and refers to a point in time.
Accordingly, it became a concept that defines the political identity of communities and moral boundaries
for different political views. For a while, people with political inclination to the center-left refrained
from wearing orange clothes, which symbolized the right wing protest against the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of Gush Katif.
The Yellow badge became a symbol of humiliation and oppression against the Jews, and therefore appeared
in various places as an answer and a proof of rebirth. In fact the ultimate justification for everything the blue ID symbolizes.
Most of the time, the colours that we find ourselves so identified with are not organic to the subject
they symbolize and sometimes totally random (the colour of the pencil in which the border between Jordan
and Israel was marked). Thinking of identity and colour the immediate context is skin colour,
which marks us already from the first glance. A colour from which there is no escape.
In my work I want to ask whether these other colours are also unavoidable. Is the need to separate
and define a particular group (by coloured identification) an indisputable human trait, thereby creating
a solidarity between the members of the specific "coloured order" and mutual hatred of those with the
different coloured identity as its mirror image?
Tell me what your colours are and I'll tell you who you are?
Chair, 2014, in the project Carriage 322, with the Empty House group
A Repeated Action
The old Jerusalem train station area is my childhood territory, which has been expropriated into a commercial
and stylish complex.
The action here re-holds the public compound and opens an inviting door turning it into a site
that allows intervention and action and a sense of a home area where all options are open.
The station has become a kind of playground and this site, with its abandonment and intimacy,
calls on me to take fragments and integrate them into biographical memories.
A childhood chair. My father built the chair from an old ironing board. With it I went through childhood experiences,
and it survived to accompany my children's childhood. I build it anew in my height as I stand and stretch my hands up.
I look at the chair and recognize my father's familiar modus operandi.
I see the course of time and the life of the chair and the life that has been experienced on it.
I look at the back of the chair I built from planks I found in the compound, and the shape is as familiar to me
as an old lullaby deep into the subconscious. I wonder with what I identify more - with the old object or with
the one I created in its likeness, or better yet with the act of recollection itself and the insights that come with
it and seep through the repetition of action from the past.
To take the wood that used to be something else - an ironing board in the case of the original chair,
and the wood that I use, whose past I know nothing of except the big rusty nails I pulled out of it.
Thus trying to keep the mark of the past and use it anew.
From time to time I accompany one of the other artists and adopt their attitude to the space they build - whether
to view it with other material and thereby change its purpose, or to connect elements that change the
perception of the space in which it is located. I want to place the chair in the garden that is being built
in the back of the compound, a parallel action in a certain way to building the chair by combining cultivation
and construction using the elements piled up in the place during its years of neglect, but at the same time
leaving traces of this desolation and other possibilities that were embodied in it.
Gown of Concrete*, 2018, during residency ARTBNB, HaMiffal, Jerusalem