Sand / חול
The origin of the work is tied to the Hebrew verbal root of revenge, a root that was used frequently in graffiti on the walls and alleys of Jerusalem during the difficult period of terror attacks in 2002.
The work shows a kind of a game, or actually a struggle, between two speakers that act as scales, thus creating a conflict between the words “revenge” and “forgive”. Out of a state of grief and mourning (where the use of sand is linked to spreading sand on the head in mourning custom) one can examine this contrasting situation that acquires to reach a balance.
Sand from David Behar – Perahia on Vimeo.
The word sand (“Hol” in Hebrew) is apparent (in the Hebrew language) in the word “forgive” (“Limhol”), and maybe even hints on the idea that mourning leads the way into a place of forgiveness, suggest new life out of death and alludes to the never ending and unbearable cycle of life. Similarly, the process conducted in the performance, repeating itself again and again, is without a stop.
The end of the cycle is when the scales reach a new found balance. A result that is impossible to predict (who wins? “forgive” or “”revenge”) since the system never gets to the same starting point, where a difference in the number of sand grain change the fragile balance. The cycle start again once an evenly and accurate balance is achieved by the performer who feeds the system with new sand.
In spite of the specific connection to Jerusalem, this performance crosses geographical, political and cultural borders. Its perception and understanding does not dependent on language. The language, beyond its verbal meaning, acts as a vehicle for a mechanical change, by the power of its sound; A low or a high sound, a dumped or a strong sound, all leading the sand out off the scale.
In its wide context, the work suggest a plethora of dilemmas that link to prime moral values, to basic human emotions and trigger various associations originating from war situations: disaster, ruin and calamity.
Curator: Sarah Bowden, meantime art space, Cheltenham UK, 2008
Carmon-Popper Irit, Miklat 209, The Israeli center for performance art Tel Aviv, 2005.
Lea Maures & Diego Rottman, Heaarat Shulayim events, Jerusalem, 2002.