This a series of three photographs made in Israel and the West Bank that document the performance of rooting myself in a ‘foreign’ land. Materially I play with the idea of body/ clay as body / clay/ body as clay merging into the earth. With the image, I question the notion of, and relationship with ‘home’, with ‘land’, the meaning of a ‘homeland’ and the act of returning to the homeland. I question notions of ownership and control. I suggest rootedness and up-rootedness; (In order to cause distress and claim land, settlers famously uproot olive trees that have been a part of Palestinian families).
I also refer to the first act of asserting right to the earth – by planting trees and crops – the means by which the human species has colonized the earth.
Although there are no obvious markers of race, gender or location in the photographs, the act of performing the images is deliberate. The sites at which these images are made are of importance, loaded with meaning. The photographs were made quickly, and without permission in a private garden with the backdrop of Sabra fencing in Jerusalem, in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and at the separation wall in Hizma, a suburb of Jerusalem broken by the wall.
This series of photographs was part of a group of work made while artist-in-residence at Hacubia in Jerusalem, as part of the Postcolonialism? project organized by the Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv, and curated by Wendy Gers.
Photography: Noa Bachner and Neha Kudchadkar