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Site:
King Herod’s family Tomb/1st Cen. B.C
Location:
Bloomfield Garden, behind the King David Hotel, in Jerusalem.
Occasion:
“80 years of Israeli Sculpture”, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

 

The 1st scene
Close to the entrance of the burial cave, in the enclosed yard outside of it, lies a rectangular block of rock, whose dimensions are slightly larger than an adult person[1]. I pulled my body weight across the rock’s surface; bells, tied around my ankle, jingled until I was on my feet in a stand still. I wore a light blue metallic bodysuit with oval metal shields on my shoulders, and the bells which were tied in a chain around my ankle[2]. The sun highlighted my position at the farthest edge on the rock. Random viewers noticed me from varying distances in the garden, and some also came close, to hold a more committed view. I stood for a moment and then I bent my knees until they touched the rock; I stretched my body forward so that both my shoulders touched the surface as well; my arms rested on the rock, smugly, along my chest. I lifted my neck to a forward position and turned my head upward exposing my face straight to the audience.
Next, I started to move my pelvis in an irregular circulating motion, while my back and chest responded in an inward contraction and outward stretching. I tried to hold my head up, protruding forward and facing the audience as best and as long as I was able to, while I pressed my lips together and lifted them until they touched my nose. This was an uncanny facial expression and, together with the dynamic asymmetric round patterns of my pelvis, I thought I resembled a cat in the act of painful intercourse. My association was with King Herod’s wife, Mariamne, who was murdered by her husband for supposed adultery and buried in this very tomb[3]. Then, I began the grinding with my metal shoulder shields on the dense rock. I toiled to produce a prominent sound but only a feeble opaque rubbing could be heard.

 

Finally, I lay straight and on my back with my head at the very front of the rectangular rock; I was like a stroke of a brush, of light blue and metallic color, that aligned the stone. I raised one clenched fist, perpendicular to my body, and remained in that way for several minutes. Then I raised my other fist, clenched; I alternated hands and at intervals, I raised both above my head, parallel to each other. Finally, I stepped backwards letting the length of the rock in front of me be exposed.

 

The 2nd scene
I ascended a high stone structure, on a concealed ladder. As I was climbing, the sound of the bells on my ankles was the indication to my viewers that I was moving farther and higher away from them.
From the top of the stone structure, I threw down 2,000 carnations into an elongated rock inclination, at the bottom of the structure. Since small microphones had been set on the ground, the first layer of carnations descended creating a sharp sound when meeting the rocks. Eventually, as the flowers mounted on top of each other, the sound became softer, though still audible.

 

The 3rd scene
I tore the flowers, tossing them, and trampling on the 2,000 Carnations. The noise of the mutilated flowers was projected into the vast garden.

 

 

[1] In the time of King Herod, bodies of the deceased were laid on four such rocks inside the main chamber of the burial cave. After some time, the bones were collected and placed with the remains of the other deceased family members, in another chamber deeper inside the cave.

[2] To Life grew out of Salute; its outfit and the movement during the 1st scene, corresponded with the 1st scene of Salute, performed in “Tel-Hai Contemporary Art Meeting”, 1983, less than one year before.

[3] When I enacted this image of the cat, in “Tel-Hai Contemporary Art Meeting”, my association was the abundant number of cats which seemed to hold an independent communal existence by the un-discarded heaps of garbage, which were accumulating by the main street in the village of Metula, during the First Lebanon War.

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

To Life
Adina Bar-On Collection

Site:
King Herod’s family Tomb/1st Cen. B.C
Location:
Bloomfield Garden, behind the King David Hotel, in Jerusalem.
Occasion:
“80 years of Israeli Sculpture”, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

 

The 1st scene
Close to the entrance of the burial cave, in the enclosed yard outside of it, lies a rectangular block of rock, whose dimensions are slightly larger than an adult person[1]. I pulled my body weight across the rock’s surface; bells, tied around my ankle, jingled until I was on my feet in a stand still. I wore a light blue metallic bodysuit with oval metal shields on my shoulders, and the bells which were tied in a chain around my ankle[2]. The sun highlighted my position at the farthest edge on the rock. Random viewers noticed me from varying distances in the garden, and some also came close, to hold a more committed view. I stood for a moment and then I bent my knees until they touched the rock; I stretched my body forward so that both my shoulders touched the surface as well; my arms rested on the rock, smugly, along my chest. I lifted my neck to a forward position and turned my head upward exposing my face straight to the audience.
Next, I started to move my pelvis in an irregular circulating motion, while my back and chest responded in an inward contraction and outward stretching. I tried to hold my head up, protruding forward and facing the audience as best and as long as I was able to, while I pressed my lips together and lifted them until they touched my nose. This was an uncanny facial expression and, together with the dynamic asymmetric round patterns of my pelvis, I thought I resembled a cat in the act of painful intercourse. My association was with King Herod’s wife, Mariamne, who was murdered by her husband for supposed adultery and buried in this very tomb[3]. Then, I began the grinding with my metal shoulder shields on the dense rock. I toiled to produce a prominent sound but only a feeble opaque rubbing could be heard.

 

Finally, I lay straight and on my back with my head at the very front of the rectangular rock; I was like a stroke of a brush, of light blue and metallic color, that aligned the stone. I raised one clenched fist, perpendicular to my body, and remained in that way for several minutes. Then I raised my other fist, clenched; I alternated hands and at intervals, I raised both above my head, parallel to each other. Finally, I stepped backwards letting the length of the rock in front of me be exposed.

 

The 2nd scene
I ascended a high stone structure, on a concealed ladder. As I was climbing, the sound of the bells on my ankles was the indication to my viewers that I was moving farther and higher away from them.
From the top of the stone structure, I threw down 2,000 carnations into an elongated rock inclination, at the bottom of the structure. Since small microphones had been set on the ground, the first layer of carnations descended creating a sharp sound when meeting the rocks. Eventually, as the flowers mounted on top of each other, the sound became softer, though still audible.

 

The 3rd scene
I tore the flowers, tossing them, and trampling on the 2,000 Carnations. The noise of the mutilated flowers was projected into the vast garden.

 

 

[1] In the time of King Herod, bodies of the deceased were laid on four such rocks inside the main chamber of the burial cave. After some time, the bones were collected and placed with the remains of the other deceased family members, in another chamber deeper inside the cave.

[2] To Life grew out of Salute; its outfit and the movement during the 1st scene, corresponded with the 1st scene of Salute, performed in “Tel-Hai Contemporary Art Meeting”, 1983, less than one year before.

[3] When I enacted this image of the cat, in “Tel-Hai Contemporary Art Meeting”, my association was the abundant number of cats which seemed to hold an independent communal existence by the un-discarded heaps of garbage, which were accumulating by the main street in the village of Metula, during the First Lebanon War.

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis