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 underground.
Visitors to the gallery encountered a completely transformed space. The first room into which the viewers had stepped in was a small rooftop laundry room, which I turned into a subterranean plantation of fruit made of paper-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 Second Intifada broke out. Each day of the conflict had thus become a fruit that bore a date, and in some cases, the painful words and images could be seen alongside the logo of Haaretz, which means “the land” 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 paper-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 or catastrophe. Ten small stations, occupied by two men, a woman, jars, a food hoard, wine glasses, pipes, antennas, and dehydrated fruit represent the residue following the almost total destruction of human life.
Among the ruins, I had planted a diary on the floor which contained scrawled lines of handwritten notes in Hebrew. Essentially they were headlines describing the conflict that brought about the ruin of the world.