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Photos: Liraz Punk

BACKTRACK

video loop, 8:11 min

(2012)

The video documents a walk performed by dancer Or Avishay, in the hours of transition between Israel’s annual Memorial Day and its Independence Day celebration that immediately follows it at sundown. Avishay walked backwards from Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square festivities were just commencing - to the Tel Aviv Promenade on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, which is associated both with the arrival by boat of diaspora Jews to Israel before the founding of the country, and also with a common right-wing rhetoric involving Israel’s enemy’s warnings the Jews will be pushed back into that very sea.

 

Although Avishay walked backwards from the Square to the sea, the video is screened in reverse, turning the dancer's backward motion into a surreal, slightly “off” stroll across town as the night brightens into dusk and passers-by surge backwards around her.  

The walk between the ocean and the city’s central municipal plaza (the exact spot where, in1995, Israel’s Prime Minster Rabin was assassinated) allows the viewer to consider the link between a nation's primordial fears and its annual celebration of Independence and freedom.

By: Sigal Bergman

With: Or Avishay

First exhibited at the Museum on the Seam 2013

as part of the exhibit "Everyone Carries a room inside"