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Jeu de Dames, 1993

In 1993, I used the holy land bottles for an art piece entitled ‘Jeu de Dames’, a work created in homage to Marcel Duchamp’s Box in a Valise.

The name ‘Jeu de Dames’ in French, literally translated in English as Women’s Game is a game of draughts which replaces Marcel Duchamp’s well known passion for chess game. Jeu de Dame exists in two editions. It is composed of a magnetic draughts board and of ready-made bottles from the Holy Land, to which I added new white tops. Inside the secret drawer of each version, I inscribed the final game I played as well as its name: Garden of Gethsemane and Rock of Agony, names that link the work to Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa.

The work executed in 1993, at the outset of the peace negotiations between President Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin symbolized the unpredictability of the game’s outcome/negotiations.

The work was exhibited in October 1993, at the Bograshov Gallery in Tel Aviv in a suitcase gathering the works of forty two artists.

One edition was bought by collector Jerome Stern (USA) the other one is part of the suitcase donated by Arturo Schwarz to The Israel Museum.

Ariane Littman