Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness


 Next to the world class medical center of Hadassah Ein Kerem in the moshav of Even Sapir hides the picturesque Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness. This past Friday on one of the rainiest days of the winter. I was able to visit it all by myself; the rain has stopped for awhile and a special kind of silence engulfed the place and gave me a chance to reflect on its poetics of space







Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Peace Orchard Late Update גבעת השלום 2012

This year we were able to finish a much needed maintenance on the Peace Orchard project as well as harvest the first s significant crop of pomegranates including the rare black variety.
 


And from the project's archives my friend Itzik Shen during planting trees in the project 2007

 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Shadow: Concreteness that does not exist

 Also the ultimate signifier for Temporality

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cara Cara oranges

It turns out that the new orange tree I am slowly growing in the garden is the newly developed Israeli variety of the Cara Cara navel orange.  The red deep color of the Cara is due to high content of lycopene in comparison to other red orange where the red color is due to content of anthocyanins. Lycopene is an antioxidant which contributes to reducing the chance of getting different kinds of cancer and heart diseases. Exciting indeed.


 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Enhancing the past


Enhancing the past: Abraham Lincoln by Berger 1864 and Ramla wall 2011 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Garden November 2012





Following the footsteps of my mother and father: Garden Nov. 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Photographic Artifact U.S.A 1850s

Recently I received this 1850s portrait from the U.S.A.  It is an Ambrotype which is a later version of a Daguerreotype on a darkened glass.  I find that it smaller size ( which was termed as a 1/6 plate) which fits in my hand creates a particular intimacy for this one of a kind photographic artifact.  The magenta and gold tones add to its mystique and one can only speculate who is the young man with his clear eyes  who is gazing at me across the sea of temporality. 



 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gold Leaf - The Narrative of Artifacts

These two pieces completed today, represent my continued interest in the exploration of meaning and its transformation in artifacts and objects.

Railroad Bolt with Gold-leaf washer 2012



Antique silver spoon with splashed Gold-Leaf 2012


The white mums are blooming again in my garden

Friday, November 02, 2012

Cow with a Gold Leaf Face


There is something fascinating in finding children toys and modifying them. Here is a rubber toy cow found discarded on the road and modified with (almost) pure 23.5K gold leaf.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nova Zagora Bed Spread

 Recently a friend of mine has become involved in rural weaving practices which reminded me of a bed spread in my studio that was never documented.  It was brought to Israel by my grandfather after the war from Bulgaria in 1945.  I asked my father if he remembered this colorful bedspread and he said he remembered it on his grandmother bed in her rustic house in the small town of Nova Zagura. As my father is 92 years old now a quick calculation confirm that the bedspread i well over hundred years old.  It was given to my father grandmother by the peasants living in the villages around the town. It is the only heritage that we have from the old country. It also demonstrates the remarkable sustainability and durability of simple home-made artifacts made by simple people and expressing their culture and tradition....









Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chaavara Check Point מחסום חווארה

Here in the Shomoron on the West Bank in the extreme summer heat we met a group of young infantry men whose task was to guard the Chavara check point just in the entrance  to the town of Shechem Nablus.


 They had to be in holed up in their post for 5 consecutive days without showers or any other breaks even though their base was only 300 meter away  .




We brought them some food as this was the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana and set talking to my nephew and his comrades  who were on patrol in the shade of some pine trees next to the base.  I took many portraits of these young men who had already volunteered for a one year community service in remote locations prior to their conscription to the army.  As IDF regulations prohibit publishing photographs of soldiers on active duty, without permission, I avoid showing them here. I had a profound compassion for them and in away I felt like hugging each one of them.

     

Later we drove up the hill and over looking the Chavara Check Point we found an old fountain that the settlers had named Ein Amsha. 


They have turned the upper source into a Jewish ritualistic bath - A Mikve named after Yaakov the Righteous.
   

The Graffiti on the building state "For Men Only"
"Unlish Reprisels Now" ( Tag Mechir in Hebrew)
and "The Revenge of the Blood of Your Slave You Spill". These sprayed writing were done by what is known in Israel as the "Youth of the Hills" which are bands of young fanatics settlers boys who perform acts of terrorism such as mosque burning or fire bombing cars of the innocent Palestinian population.  These act of terror are usually done now every time they feel that the army or police is about to take down one of their so called "Illegal Outposts".


Considering their actions and ethos the purifying concept of the Mikve   seems like a outrageous travesty. 


 I was thinking about the two groups of young men and the opposing polar feelings I had towards them. How the commitment of the young IDF men we have just met had aided by offering protection  the actions of the other group of young men.  I was also realizing  with great sadness and compassion for the young soldiers, that for the majority of Israelis this reality did not seems to be of great importance.