SIGALIT LANDAU, 2016
Hezi Cohen Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Upon entering the gallery’s ground floor, visitors were greeted by my mural-sized video, “Rite of Passage” (2015). For this work, I installed a maypole on the brown sands of an Israeli beach, and affixed a camera to its top. The video showed a group of Arab and Israeli children, seen from a bird’s-eye view, as they skipped and sang while circling the maypole. The children were clasping the maypole’s multicolored ribbons, which gradually got intertwined. Once the ribbons were thoroughly woven together, the children began their dance again – this time in reverse, unbinding the ribbons.
This scene placed the children on a continuum with maypole dancers throughout the ages. It also transposed the ancient Germanic tradition into modern-day Israel, whose not-so-distant history is deeply entwined with that of Germany. The children, too, were bound together by the maypole in this act, that suggests a symbolism of spring, rebirth, and perhaps hope for peace in the Middle East.
On the ground floor of the gallery, seven scenes unfolded in mixed media works that compose my series “Unstaged / A Play Not Played” (2015). Created in collaboration with writer and dramatist Oren Neeman, the series showed narrative vignettes based on a collage of materials, ranging from sand and fabric to found objects. Each vignette told a tale based on the lives of two women: The sacrificed daughter of the biblical judge and warrior, Jephthah, and the legendary Israeli theater actress, Hanna Rovina.