Collaged, Frotage Graphite on Paper, 120 cm
Produced during the ArtBnB residency programme at HaMiffal, Jerusalem, this work responded to my experiences and encounters of the area directly in the vicinity of the HaMiffal building within a 100m radius. I was interested by the multiple layers of history and overlapping realities that you experience by walking around Jerusalem. HaMiffal, a former Arab house, then a school, abandoned and then a squat, sits just beyond the walls of the old city, just a few meters away from the former Jordanian border and the 'seam'. The building is now used as a cultural centre, but its various layers of history, and its overlapping inhabitation and uses can be seen etched on its walls. This is common in Jerusalem, to see these multiple layers visible, cracked walls, peeling, half exposed, half hidden, half overwritten. I was interested in how I could use the act of drawing and erasing as a metaphorical tool, and the process of collage to create a new and imagined map that takes an abstracted look at a landscape that embodies so many overlapping ideologies, histories and subjectivities. I began by making frottage drawings of various walls and surfaces in the area, starting with the walls in HaMiffal, and working outwards to various walls, and textures in the neighbourhood including the headstones of Arab graves in the Mamilla cemmetary, many of which had already been destroyed for the construction of the new Museum of Tolerance. I took the drawings back to the studio, where I erased what I had drawn, leaving only the most prominent marks behind. I then cut out along the most significant lines and shapes that were left in the drawings, and re-arranged them into what appears to be a surreal territory seen from the air. A lunar landscape with the traces of previous inhabitation, absurd borders that don't lead anywhere, enclaves, gaps and lines. The map also contains cuttings from drawings made during an Unmapping workshop I led during the residency, containing some of the subjective and remembered experiences of the participants.