Project Year: 2013-14
For Facts on the Ground, I created and staged approximately 30 site-specific installations across Israel and Palestine.
The works existed as on-site installations, but were also created largely in-order-to-be-photographed. Each intervention was composed of illuminated text, mostly created by custom-made light boxes; one from mirrored letters. They were sited and installed primarily in and around Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Negev desert, and in the occupied West Bank.
Each installation created a brief, enigmatic phrase inserted into the city/landscape. I intended for the phrases to resist easy interpretation, while pointing to some of the psychological, cultural, and political imperatives that underlie the uneasy mood in present day Israel/Palestine or that reflect the Conflict in the region. Some phrases were culled from the history of Zionism, while others were literary and artistic distillations.
A typical installation and phrase was comprised of between 1 and 3 light box pieces. While the interventions had an in-situ installation component with members of the public interacting with and responding to the works, the conceptual framing, visual composition and overall choreography were considered with the final art photographs in mind. Each work was set up in mid to late afternoon and lasted until darkness. I photographed the light box installations interacting with their sites during these hours.
The installations and photographs were site-specific in every sense. The phrases and visual composition of the boxes were both carefully considered in light of the cultural, historical, socio-political and physical dimension of each site.
As with my earlier works, I sought to create content-driven pieces that are visually arresting and conceptually layered. My aim was to create works of art that offer opportunities for reflection, and that might raise as many questions as they answer.
Facts on the Ground was exhibited at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York in 2016. An art monograph of Facts on the Ground was also released in the same year from Nazraei Press.