After The Watchman, 2018
After The Watchman
From The Wounded Land Series
The work relates to Alexander Zaïd as a symbol of Ha’Emek (The Valley) and its Zionist Ethos, it is part of the Wounded Land Series, a series triggered by the Second Intifada (2000-2005) and the Second Lebanon War (2006). A body of work which deals with the metaphoric healing of visible and less visible wounds inscribed in the geography of the landscape, the city and the body.
In the work “After the Watchman,” Ram Atkin Matzliach uses 200 sterile gauzes to dress the bronze sculpture of Alexander Zaïd. The dressing of the equestrian statue by the young man, a performer and a student in medicine, represents the metaphoric healing of The Valley of Jezreel, the Biblical site of numerous historical battles.
The performance took place on July 10th 2018, precisely 80 years after Alexander Zaïd was left bleeding to death on the side of the road.
The story of the monument in Sheikh Abreikh:
At the beginning of the 20th century, Jewish farmers established the first villages and Kibbutzim in the Valley of Jezreel, the site of important biblical battles.
A prominent figure of the Second Aliya, Alexander Zaïd settled together with his family in Sheikh Abreik in 1926, with the mission of overseeing and protecting the land belonging to the Jewish National Fund.
On July 10th 1938, Zaïd was ambushed and shot dead by Qassem Tabash from the al-Hilaf tribe.
A bronze monument was erected in his memory on the hill of Sheikh Abreik near Beit She’arim, the 2ndcentury AD Jewish city and necropolis.
Today, the watchman on his horse overlooks a valley crisscrossed by motorways under construction and protests against a futur controversial civil airport.
Performed and filmed in Sheikh Abreik/ Bet Shearim, Jezreel Valley, Israel
Produced by Studio 11 in collaboration with Beit Hankin in Kfar Yehoshua
Performer: Ram Atkin Matzliach
Aerial Cinematographer: Aviv Kegen
Cinematographer: Talia (Tulic) Galon
Editor: Michal Gassner
Original music: Omer Gonen-Haela, bansuri improvisation based on The Song of the Valley, (Natan Alterman, D. Sambursḳi, 1934)
Additional Music & Sound design: Marcello Pilewski
Colorist: Adar Raviv
Post Production Studio: Nahshon & Lahman ©Art Media
I would like to thank the Zaïd family as well as The Israel Nature and Parks authority, The Beit Shearim National Park and the Emek Izrael Regional Council for allowing me to make this work. I am grateful to Ayelet Hertswolf as well as to Orna Atkin Raviv and Neta Haber from Beit Hankin in Kfar Yehoshua for their precious help.
My deep gratitude goes to Ram Atkin Matzliach for his exceptional performance and to all those involved in the creation of this work.
All rights reserved © Ariane Littman 2018