One Man's Floor Is Another Man's Feelings, 2011

Israeli Pavilion, 54th Biennale, Venice, Italy

My project for the Venice Biennale consisted of three major installations that were showcased inside the Israeli pavilion, as well as a fourth that was set in the backyard.

The principal metaphors that guided the work were water, salt, and earth.


One installation on the ground level consisted of a typical Israeli water pipe system in which seawater, pumped from the nearby Venetian canal, ran in a closed circle, simulating the manner in which blood flows through the body’s arteries. The pipes sprout from a concealed space that I had discovered and which was previously sealed between the lower and middle floors of the pavilion. This space which was essentially full of earth, housed a water pump and functioned as the heart of the installation.


On the upper floor, I created a cinematographic scene that was projected on a large free-standing wall. The displayed image was of a pair of shoes slowly sinking. The shoes, which I had previously immersed in the Dead Sea, were seen melting gradually through the ice layer of a lake in the Polish city of Gdansk. The austere scene of the video was juxtaposed by the presence of a fisherman’s net, also coated in salt crystals of the Dead Sea.


In the middle floor — the third installation space, I reenacted a debate that took place around a large round table. On the table, I placed 12 laptops; the laptops represented the 12 participants. Each laptop voiced a role in the debate while the screens displayed a continuous scene of a multichannel video in which a little girl is tying the participant’s shoes while interweaving their shoelaces. The participants gradually removed their shoes and abandoned the discussion, leaving the child with a circle of empty shoes. 


In the backyard, a circle of 12 bronze shoes was displayed.

Curators: Jean De Loisy, Ilan Wizgan