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

Israeli Pavilion, 54th Biennale, Venice, Italy

Curators: Jean De Loisy, Ilan Wizgan

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.