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Sirah foighel brutmann, eitan efrat
Orientation
Experimental doc. | hdv | color | 12'40'' | Denmark / Belgium | 2015
Looking at two locations— the public sculpture White Square commemorating the founders of Tel Aviv, and the shrine of Palestinian village Salame in today’s Israeli Kafar Shalem—Orientation focuses on the ability of architectural material, and of sound and image, to register collective experience of forgetfulness. In 1989, the Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan, completed his sculpture White Square. The work was commissioned by the Municipality of Tel Aviv, and by the end of the building process Karavan decided to dedicate the sculpture to the founders of Tel Aviv—among whom his father Abraham Karavan, who was the city’s landscape architect for four decades from 1930’s onwards. The sculpture is composed of simple geometrical shapes and is made of white concrete, influenced by the International Style of early architecture in Tel Aviv. White Square—situated on the highest point in the area located in the eastern outskirts of Tel Aviv—overlooks through the skyscrapers all the way to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. The commonly used name of the hill on which White Square is exalted is pronounced in Arabic: “Giv’at Batih” (Watermelon Hill). The remains of the shrine of Salame, in today’s Tel Avivian neighbourhood Kfar Shalem is located a few hundred meters south of this hill. The abandoned dome-structure was once at the centre of the ancient Palestinian village Salame. The village, dating back to the 16th century up until 1948, was located on the highway from Jaffa Port to the mainland. During the ‘Nakba’ of 1948 it was occupied and depopulated by the Israeli Army and the new Zionist state. Weeks after expelling the Palestinian villagers from their land, the Israeli authorities—managing waves of Jewish immigration—re-inhabited the village with Yemenite Jews. Those, were settled in the original Palestinian stone houses. Today, decades later, the ownership of the land is still in dispute, and the Jewish-Israeli residents of Kfar Shalem are threatened with evacuation due to a construction-corporations’ plan to destroy the stone houses and to build a new profitable neighbourhood. Orientation is the second chapter in a series of works titled Gathering Series.
Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat (both °1983 in Tel Aviv) have been working in collaboration for several years and are creating works in the Audiovisual field. Living and working in Brussels. Their works have been shown in filmfestivals as IDFA and Rotterdam Film Festival (NL); Courtisane (BE); New Horizons (PL); on ARTE/WDR; exhibited in solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel (CH) and Argos (BE), and group exhibitions in STUK (BE); EMAF (DE) and The Petah-Tikva Museum for Contemporary Arts (IL). Their works have been produced by Auguste Orts and Argos (BE) and distributed by EYE institute (NL), they have won prizes in IMAGES (CA) and Oberhausen Film Festival (DE). Sirah and Eitan have presented their work as featured artists at the 59th Flaherty Film Seminar (US), and have participated in artists talks and presentations in institutions such as FLACC, Genk, LUCA BFA class, Brussels, L`erg BFA class, Brussels, DocNomads 2014, and Bezalel MFA class, Tel Aviv. Sirah and Eitan`s practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image. In their work they aim to mark the spatial and durational potentialities of reading of images – moving or still; the relations between spectatorship and history; and the temporality of narratives and memory. Sirah and Eitan are members of the artists-run collective Messidor