Here we are, in the Holy Land. Here the past and the present, the facts and the beliefs, the land and the stories are overlapping in visible layers and infinite narratives. For me and my friends/colleagues of the Breakfast Club it is a travel through stories we might know from our childhood, through places we lived in, through places we’ve heard of. A gathering in a conflicted country outside Europe. It is the first time since a long time that we manage to be the 10 of us.
It is also a new kind of residency for us; a traveling one. The normal structure of being in a place for the whole duration of the stay is challenged; after staying in Zur Hadassa at Asaf’s mum place we rent cars and move forward into the desert.
Through our contacts of the Pandora Collective we spontaneously end up teaching two classes of two hours in an university in Sderot, a city more in the south. It is an interesting encounter with art students; we play collective games, compose and recompose the space of this small room lightened by neons and coldened by air conditioning. We keep on activating artistic spaces all along the travel; catching up rounds with performative responses in a communal garden, light body work at the Dead Sea, studio hours in Mitzpe Ramon (in the desert we landed in a community-like place, old industrial buildings renovated into big studios and nicely arranged outside spaces and we were sleeping all together in a big studio).
The food is of course a present theme, though less of a concern having been generously fed in Zur Hadassa for 4 whole days. Humus, pita, avocado.
“To exist is to resist”
We follow two guided tours; one in the Old City of Jerusalem and one in the Jordan Valley (the West Bank – named occupied territories, colonies or settlements, depending on the point of view…). Those tours and the discussions with the three israelis members of our group give us an insight in the political history and the current blocked situation. There is a status quo planing above all heads, a stagnant feeling of a war that has no resolution. Each place we go is charged with a religious or with a survival value. The country is small and divided. Zone A zone B zone C, for israelis citizens, for palestinians citizens, for christians for muslims for jews for tourists; the mobility is limited for everybody in a way or in another.
Being politically active… Being artistically active… Being friendly active… Being collectively active… Being actively naked…
How can one be active ? How do we address problems ?
The Sun Set, the Sun Rise. The Sun set again. We wrap up at the beach. Suspended Moon.
This residency was made possible for all of us with the help of individual applications to STEP Travel Grants and funded by Ida Rosa Schaller (Switzerland).Very generously supported by Asaf’s Mum Posmat aka Mamoshka. Thank you to our hosts in Tel Aviv.