The Muse, performance 2020, 2020
For over a decade I have used sterile gauzes in my performances to heal national, historical as well as personal wounds. Wounds inscribed in the memory of the landscape, the city, the map and the body. Such healing acts always took place in a meaningful location, either for its past history or its present story.
For “The Muse” I chose the site of Metzuke Dragot, a mountainous plateau along the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. Geographically, it has a striking ‘wounded’ morphology as it looms over the spectacular cliffs of Wadi Murabbart. Historically it was there that the Jewish fighters from Judea, led by Simon Bar Kochba, took refuge in hidden caves circa 132-136 CE during the last Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire. On a personal level, it was in Ein Guedi, a few kilometers away that my daughter was wounded during a Scouts’ field trip in 2009.
Following this accident, she suffered 3rd degree burns and her wounds had to be dressed with sterile gauze and special bandages for over a year. Dressing her wounds at home became part of a painful daily routine whilst in the studio I dressed and sewed cartographic maps of Jerusalem, metaphorically healing the ongoing violent Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A year later I performed on the Northern shore of the Dead Sea, on the shores of Kalia beach that bears her name, there I was mummified and left to drift away in unison with the dying sea. Over the years, gauzes became the natural material used to re-enact healing acts in wounded places.
In the present work, we return together to this primeval landscape bearing many hidden wounds, as mother and daughter, as healer and muse.
The Muse: Kalia Littman
Photo: Avgar Idan, Drone Photographer: Shabtai Tal, Cinematographer: Ruslan Paul, Make-up: Idit Ayala Alagem, Costume: Lera Lemberg