Homage to Joseph Beuys, 1998
In the project entitled “Holy Land” (1994-2002) I questioned the conflicting use of the words ‘Holy Land’ as a marketing strategy, the myth of the Promised Land, having since long been outshine by economic and territorial interests. To that effect, I introduced myself within big public companies products or used their logo for my new products in order to enhance the tension between religious, political and economic interests.
Invited in 1998 to do an installation work at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Dusseldorf, I imported 960 litres of “Holy Water” to Germany. Therefore I contacted the main mineral water company in Israel, Mey Eden (Water of Eden), which extracts its mineral water from a source in the Golan Heights. To hold the 55 heavy water containers of 20 litres each, a construction of shelves was created exposing the shape of a cross, concealed in the design of the windows. The “Holy Waters” installation, in form of a cross, resonated with an important element in Beuys’ artwork.
In the garden behind these windows, was also one of Beuy’s “7000 Oaks”.
To enhance the link between Joseph Beuys’s work and mine, an artist whose healing and idiosyncratic works had appealed to me over the years, I made him a small homage by planting an olive tree from the Holy Land. I called The Jewish National Fund, active among other things in afforestation, asking them to provide me with a young olive tree and to prepare a small commemorative inscription plate I designed.
Having received all the permissions from the Ministry of Agriculture to fly the tree to Germany, I planted my small olive tree not far from Joseph Beuys’ Oak tree.