The Blue Box (1997-2002)
, Jewish National Fund (JNF or KKL)
While working together with The Jewish National Fund on the re-location of the memorial stone of the 'Forbidden Forest' in 1997, I created 5 Rectified Blue boxes. Later in 2002 for a new project in Philadelphia, I contacted again the Jewish National Fund and received over a 100 Blue Boxes. I created a new edition of 110 'Blue Boxes' silk-screening the word 'Holy Land' on the back of the boxes.
, Kibbutz Beit Hashita
In view of a project at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art and having previously worked with companies that provided me with beehives and honey, water, air, earth and milk powder, I turned this time to the Kibbutz Beit Hashita where I had volunteered at the olive factory in the summer 1982 . During my visit, I learned that the factory was exporting olives to the US in big black plastic barrels. I used these barrels lightened filled them up with thousands of olive pits.
Holy Water 1998
, Mey Eden
Fascinated by the transformation of plain water into holy water sold to pilgrims in search of religious souvenirs and I decided to turn pure mineral water sold to the public into 'Holy Water.' To do so I contacted the company 'Mey Eden' (Water of Eden) since at the time they held 65% of the mineral water market, editing the original text on their labels.
Hommage to Joseph Beuys 1998
, Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL)
Invited in 1998 to do an installation work at the Ministry of Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia in Dusseldorf, I discovered that in the garden there was one of Joseph Beuys' “7000 Oaks”. I decided then to make an hommage to this artist, whose healing and idiosyncratic works had appealed to me over the years. I called The Jewish National Fund, an organisation active among other things in afforestation, and asked them to provide me with a young olive tree and to prepare a small commemorative inscription plate I designed.
Having received all the permissions from the Ministry of Agriculture to fly the tree to Germany, I planted my tiny olive tree in the vicinity of Joseph Beuys’ Oak tree.
The installation Holy Waters
, Mey Eden
Invited in 1998 to do an installation work at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Dusseldorf, I imported 960 litres of “Holy Water” to Germany. Therefore I contacted the main mineral water company in Israel, Mey Eden (Water of Eden), which extracts its mineral water from a source in the Golan Heights. I created "The Holy Waters" installation with a construction of shelves exposing the shape of a cross, concealed in the design of the windows. The “Holy Waters” installation, held 55 water containers of 20 litres each.
The Mobile Forests (1992-2015)
, Jewish National Fund
In 1967, after the Six Days War, a forest of 20'000 trees was planted by the Littman family in memory of their father Joseph Aaron Littman near Yishi. The forest became at some point an "out of bounds" area, a closed military area, to which access was forbidden. Unknown to the family, it was discovered in 1991 after I contacted the Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem to visit the forest. As a result of this discovery, I transformed these 20'000 invisible trees into "Mobile Forests" which were relocated either in forests in Israel (1997; 2003) or in galleries and museums in Tel Aviv (1992; 2015), Antwerp (1997), Ein Harod (2001), Philadelphia (2002). In collaboration with the Jewish National Fund and based on the 1967 original memorial stone, 4 more replicas were created in 1992, 1997 and in 2003.
, Kibbutz Ma'abarot
In order to realise work Nurturing Vessel (1997) I contacted the kibbutz 'Ma'abarot' a producer of baby powder milk. I was interested in linking the notion of Motherland to that of motherhood. I had done several works with big companies, it was a way to relate myths to a post modern consumer society. Ma'abarot were very helpful and they provided me twice with some 90 kg of Materna which could not be used anymore. Materna was also branded under the name Israel Milk and it suited previous works relating to the Holy Land.
, Air Monitor LTD.
Following my reflections on the nature-culture dialectic, I contracted Air Monitor, a private research and development company which aims at purifying ambient air thanks to its advanced technologies. Their activities enhanced my awareness of the fact that our technological age represents the first total threat to the simple but vital act of breathing. Due to pollution and artificial indoor climate, we are increasingly exposed to unnatural and distorted electrical fields that exert pressures on our body chemistry translated into acute migraines, respiratory ailments, and general anxiety. In my solo show A Voyage into the Sublime (1997)at the Herzliya Museum, I used Air Monitor's machines to purify the air inside the spaces of the exhibition and created a special edition of Holy Air cans sealed with purified air.
Holy Land for Sale
, Arim, Urban Development Co.
For this work I created small bags of white cloth filled up with earth and sealed with red wax, which I signed and numbered. On each bags I printed, beside the title of the work, the logo of the company Arim (a government-owned urban development company) responsible for all infrastructure preceding the building of new towns throughout the country. The choice of this company was crucial for me as I related to the notion of the Holy Land. With it's logo visible in many huge construction projects, Arim's activity, with all the ensuing ecological, topographical and political disruptions, gave an actual meaning to the fact that the "blooming of the desert" had now become an expression of advanced technological urbanization, far from the romantic notion of the biblical Holy Land. The small man, digging with his shovel inside an earth mount, above my name, a logo usually warning the public about works in progress, represented in this case my own critical act as an artist digging/disrupting an earth mount, which curiously bared an uncanny visual relationship with Arim's own logo.
None of your Sting, None of your Honey
, Jordan Honey
In 1994, for the first time I asked a company, Yarden Honey , from the Upper Galilee to allow me to introduce a new text in their label. Comprising four kibbutzim represented by the 4 bees on their logo, one of them being the kibbutz 'Ayelet Hashahar' which gave me the beehives for my installation under the army tent.Quoting from Deuteronomy, I created a link between the present marketing of honey and the mythical 'land of olive oil and honey.' The label of the company had a pastoral feeling and reminded me of Swiss landscape, the Galilee being often called "Little Switzerland." But from time to time katiushas would fall disturbing the quiet and pastoral landscape, so I choose to call the work: None of Your Sting, None of your Honey (actually it should have been None of your Honey, None of your Sting) which basically means: I have no desire for what you are suggesting to me, neither the good, nor the bad. I added as well the logo of the contemporary art event, Tel Hai 94 where the work would be exhibited and signed and numbered 1000 honey jars
Virgin of Israel and Her Daughters
, Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar
For my exhibition under an army tent in Tel Hai, curated by Gideon Ofrat in 1994, I contact the beekeeper of the kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar. I received some 40 beehives which then traveled to many museums in Israel and abroad.
, The Jewish National Fund
I contacted the JNF in 1991 as I searched for the "Grandfather Forest" as I worked on my solo show, Nature Morte, which dealt with the dialectic of nature versus culture. The forest, planted back in 1967 by the family in memory of my grandfather had become a closed military area which could not be trespassed. The JNF was instrumental to locate the forest and to create several duplicates of the memorial plaque which where relocate in various places. In 2003 they also relocate it in the British Forest of Bet Shemesh.