Erasure / Mehika 2006, 2006


Ariane Littman, Hannan Abu Hussein, Maya Yogel

Photo: Oded Antman


Performed at the Science Museum in Jerusalem this work relates to the erasure of territory and memory. A map of Jerusalem where the name of Esh Sheikh Badr appears was screened on the floor. The map was compiled, drawn and printed by the Survey of Palestine in 1947,  later in 1955 instead the name Ramat Hakirya appears on the revised map by the Survey of Israel in 1955. Today, in the vicinity of that area are located all the major national institutions.

The whole setting of the workshop was minimalist: white cloths, dim lightning, and two sacs of flour in a corner. The flour scattered over the map kept accumulating, spreading over the room and across the museum as viewers kept coming and going. A sound track accompanied the performance which lasted seven hours.

Hannan Abu Hussein, repeating gestures by women from her hometown Um el Fahm, prepared small balls of dough that she throws across the room. Picking up the balls of dough, I started erasing the lines of the map, then the lines screened on my cloths and on my body. This obsessive and hopeless act of erasing a screened map soon exceed  geographical markings, turning instead into the erasure of psychological traumas inscribed within my own body. Maya Yogel’s inspired by Japanese Buto dancing and Zen Buddhist philosophy  related to her vision of ‘erasure’ as being an integral part of life and death.

Paradoxically, this act of erasing repeated during 7 hours became an existential act of exhuming forgotten names, forgotten memories, forgotten pains and reenacting basic forgotten feminine gestures.

Ariane Littman, Jerusalem, March 2006

The maps of Jerusalem from 1947 and 1955 were photographed by Ariane Littman thanks to the courtesy of the Geography Department of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Video: 4:49′

Documentation: Eyal Sher

Editing: Ariane Littman & Michal Sachnai

Sound Track Mix: Eyal Leon Katsav


Interview in french with Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary  in Antiatlas of Borders


Ariane Littman