Out of Site

Out of Site was an installation at the Lawndale Art Center from May 8 – June 13, 2009. It included 3 large drawings and a text piece. In addition there was a performance which included Kurt Mueller, Grant MacMannus, and Zach Gresham on the opening night.

Out of Site is about the architecture of conflict in Israel-Palestine. In the summer of 2008, I participated in a program run by the Israel Committee Against Housing Demolitions (ICAHD), which gathers international activists to rebuild Palestinian homes destroyed by the Israeli government. While living and working in the village of Anata, I came to see that a house being destroyed and rebuilt connects the practice of everyday life with much larger historical and ideological currents. As a result, the symbolism of the construction or destruction of architecture has enormous symbolic weight. Identity becomes interwoven between the layers of building blocks and rubble, which quickly become more abstract than their mere utility.

There is a wall or separation barrier that is being constructed through Anata. Dividing two national identities and cultures within one socio-economic fabric, this wall has been compared by its critics to its predecessors in South Africa, Warsaw and Berlin. These powerful allusions speak to the depth that this wall cuts into the landscape and to the collective psyche of its inhabitants.

Out of Site investigates the religious, political, and nationalist symbolism inherent in ideas of home, land, and borders. Out of Site speaks to the specters of diaspora and exile that haunt the landscape of Israel-Palestine, a site which seems out of reach, always bathed in its utopian and messianic mythology.