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Smoking Utopia, 2007


The photographic journeys which I undertook on the Gaza border during ‘Operation Summer Rain’ in Summer 2006, led to the creation with my colleague Reuven Zahavi to a series of multi media projects around the theme ‘Night and Smoke.’
Both the night veiling the activities of the soldiers, and the smoke emerging from armored forces blurring the senses were a metaphor for the covering up and the concealing of reality, which often leaves the individual vulnerable and powerless and without a sense of perspective.

In this site specific installation taking place in an ancient Jerusalem Print Workshop, concealing of the objects in the space is being enhanced by the dim red light and the actual smoke expelled by a smoke machine. Virtual smoke appears in  the video and sound animation of Reuven Zahavi’s work Just Smoke and in Just Words.

The red words appearing on the screen in the work Just Smoke, were selected from IDF spokesperson announcements over a period of 5 months. Attributed to “security sources” the words are part of IDF announcements following the attack by the Hamas at the Kerem Shalom crossing on June 25th 2006. In this attack two IDF soldiers were killed, four others wounded while Cpl. Gilad Shalit was abducted. The attack initiated a retaliation operation, a year after the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip.


Ariane Littman