untitled (bed sheet on the wall)
collaboration with Noam Baitner.
A site-specific work placed in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem, and corresponds with the historical evolvement of the neighborhood.
Yemin Moshe was one of the first places built as part of expanding outside the walls of the old city. Prior to the six-day-war, it used to be a poor neighborhood on the border with Jordan, and was subject to shootings by snipers located on the walls. After the occupation of east jerusalem in 1967, the Jerusalem municipality decided to reform its position and started the evacuation of the local population, which was of low socioeconomic status, and the encouragement the entrance of more affluent inhabitants.
Nowadays, the neighborhood is considered an exclusive option for people of high socioeconomic status. It is constantly undergoing renovations and betterment, and becomes more and more beautiful and expensive. Parts of it are a “ghost town”, where the owners live outside the state of Israel most of the year and leave the place empty.
The work is divided into two focal points: The first focus has a white bedsheet, with knots along its entire length, which we have thrown from the top of the old city wall. The historical purpose of the wall encompassing the old city is to protect it from enemies and define the physical and spiritual boundaries of the different communities living in it. The sheet symbolises both an attempt to escape outside of the wall, and an attempt to invade the city from the outside. The manner in which it is places alludes to fairytales and Holliwood movies, where it is commonly used as an icon for reaching the beloved princess in a tower or performing heroic escape scenes.
The second focus is in Yemin Moshe, overlooking the old city walls.We have built a provisory observation post, that can also be interpreted as a watchpost in the narrow streets of the neighborhood. It is composed of cement bags and paint cans from a near construction site. Within the post are binoculars that allow the viewers to watch the wall and find the hanging sheet. The spectator is located in a retrospective point in time, and the only information he has is the sheet hanging from the wall. It is up to his imagination to determine who used it and for which purpose: was he breaking into the city or perhaps running away from it. The viewer becomes sort of a contemporary city wall watcher, surrounded by high-class gardening, exclusive villas under construction and signs by real estate agencies. His view on the hanging sheet creates a dialog between the past and the present of the neighborhood, as well as between fiction and reality.