Café Bots 199902010305060704

Black Coffee (Café Bots), 1999

Café ‘Bots’ also called ‘Turkish coffee’ means in popular language ‘black coffee’, while the word ‘bots’ in Hebrew means ‘mud’. Usually served in small glasses café ‘Bots’ has a strong and bitter taste.

In this work, coffee is replaced with earth while sugar is substituted with salt, enhancing the bitterness of Jerusalem’s political status. There is a popular custom, like Tarot cards, of reading destiny in the signs left by the black coffee at the bottom of the glasses.

The small tray at ground-level holds two jars of earth and salt, a small spoon and 6 glass-mats sold as a souvenir of Jerusalem’s Old City. Earth melted with red pigments and wax has left its traces at the bottom of the glasses. Created a year before the Second Intifada, the work questions the bitter destiny of Jerusalem, a city that would soon be torn by many terror attacks.

The work was first  exhibited in:

Six Set up a Table, The House in Mousrara, Jerusalem

Curator: Rachel Sukman

Ariane Littman