Facts on the Ground

Submitted by Shimon Attie

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Project

Client: Private

Location: Palestine, Israel

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $75,000

Project Team

Art Consultant

Jack Shainman Gallery

Industry Resource

Jan Lemitz

Industry Resource

Einat Gomel

Industry Resource

Zoe Chan

Industry Resource

Vardit Gross

Artport Tel Avlv

Artist

Shimon Attie

Overview

In 2013-4, I created approximately 30 site-specific media installations across Israel and Palestine. I fashioned and installed custom-made light boxes featuring illuminated texts at each site.

Goals

Short phrases were thus inserted into the city and landscape, resulting in photographs that are at once dramatic and enigmatic. Rich with ambiguity, the phrases were intended to resist interpretation, while pointing to some of the psychological, cultural, and political anxieties at stake in present day Israel and Palestine. By extension, the uncanny effect of the photographs mirror the conflict in the region. Some phrases were culled from the history of Zionism, while others were artistic distillations. A typical installation and phrase was comprised of between 1 and 3 light box pieces. Each installation was set up in mid to late afternoon and lasted until darkness. I photographed the pieces interacting with their sites during these hours. While the emphasis was on photographing the works, the artwork also had an on-site installation component as members of the public interacted with and responded to the installations.

Process

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. The conceptual framing, formal composition and choreography were considered with the final art photographs in mind.