THE COUNTRY, 2002
Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel.
I created this installation over the course of 22 months in my studio in Tel Aviv during the Second Intifada, for a presentation at the former space of the Alon Segev Gallery. The gallery was situated in the city center two floors below ground.
Visitors to the gallery encountered a completely transformed space. The first room into which spectators had stepped in was a rooftop laundry room, which had been turned into a subterranean plantation of large fruit made of papier-mâché. The material I chose to create the fruit was the daily Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. The copies I used were dated starting September 28, 2000 – the day the First Intifada broke out. Each day of the conflict had thus become a fruit that bore a date, headline and in some cases the painful words and images could be seen alongside the logo of Haaretz, which means ‘The Country’ in Hebrew.
The second room of the gallery was rendered into a typical Mediterranean rooftop, overlooking a dark, panoramic skyline. On this roof I had placed three papier-mâché figures that were shown in the act of picking, hauling and tallying the red fruit.
The visual result was what I envisioned would remain in a post-apocalyptic universe that was savaged by war. Ten small stations, occupied by two men, a woman, jars, a food hoard, wine glasses, pipes, antennas, and dehydrated fruit represent the residue of what is left behind following the almost total destruction of human life.
Among the ruins, I had planted a diary on the floor. It contained handwritten notes in Hebrew; they were quickly scrawled lines, describing the conflict that brought about the destruction of the world.