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Donald Duck’s Dream, 2006

Donald Duck’s Dream (2005-2006) is the outcome of a joint dialog with my colleague Reuven Zahavi on the manipulative regime of images and an attempt to infuse artistic autonomy unto extremely saturated images and texts. It is a multimedia and interactive project specifically related to series of images which I shot during the Israeli Disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Using texts from the IDF spokesperson’s unit together with mixed fragments of radio and TV coverage, the work tries to create an alternative circulation of images, texts and sounds gathered during that period of time.

In the midst of the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and later on, it became clear to both Reuven and myself that the Disengagement Operation, described by Brig. Gen. Miri Regev, IDF Spokesperson, as “perhaps the largest such operation ever carried out by the IDF” had, like many other historical events, been turned into a huge spectacle by the well oiled media apparatus. Images of enforced evacuation of more than 8000 Israeli civilians by police and army forces that flooded our TV screens, radio and written press, became a highly emotional imagery often linked in manipulative ways to previous collective memories, undermining for a while the importance of that historical redeployment which concluded a period of over 38 years of military Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip.

Witnessing the total destruction of the settlements,  I took innumerable photographs. Later, as I went through these pictures, I wondered how to approach “Disengagement 2005” from a different angle than the one offered through media coverage. It struck me that The Disengagement Operation had been over at speed light. The swift territorial disappearance of the Gaza Strip was reinforced by the general wish of the Israeli public to erase from their memory the emotional turmoil of the images shown on their TV screens and published in the daily written press, while at the same time New Orleans’s mass destruction by hurricane Katarina now took over international media coverage. The physical and mental erasing of the Strip somehow became linked to images deleted by a simple finger touch. 

I met with Reuven Zahavi which complex art quest had led him more recently to look for an abstract language through creative computerizing programs. Our conceptual discourse regarding the emotional and psychological manipulation of the Disengagement’s images and their circulation in the local and international press, initiated a mutual aspiration to look for alternative ways to present and to distribute such overloaded images. Underlining our whole project was the recurring concern of an uncertain endeavour, that of infusing artistic autonomy onto items so utterly immersed into actuality in our quest for a new kind of presentation and circulation of saturated images and texts. The painstaking and scrupulous creation of programs specifically related to series of images taken during the Disengagement allowed the re-manipulation of images and texts, to which Kiki Keren Huss added a further dimension with her sound track created from radio and TV communications obsessively collected and recorded over that period of time.

Currently, only some images and not videos are shown here.

February 2006