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Bialik Residency, Tel Aviv

2015, tel aviv

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From Fouad Ajami, discussing Lebanon:

“There was something there that was very fragile. The communities were of vastly different temperaments and different cultures of various levels of development. So when the map of the modern Arab world was drawn after World War I, this ....  was from the very beginning a quilt, an impossible quilt of communities."

Almost right away, I began to notice the varied grids of the windows there; it was as if every window was unique, a reinvention of the form of a window.  I photographed them and then drew them.

The Bialik residence is very close to a cobblestoned street called Nahalat Binyamin, a street lined with shops selling fabrics from all over the world.  Each fabric references a time and a place in the world.  I began to recreate the grids of the windows in these fabrics, each fabric representing/referencing a culture and/or a history.  Windows made of the collision of cultures.  Windows one cannot see through, or walls too flexible to function; impossible windows and walls.  

I was so lucky to find Arlette and Shimon and their local sewing and alterations shop.  Arlette and Shimon are very religious, have a religious fabric to their life that I do not.  Chatting for hours each day with Arlette about life and love, helping to cut and measure the fabric, meeting their customers, discussing our common issues and concerns as women, became an integral part of this process. 

The feeling of these pieces is very much the feeling of Tel Aviv to me.  The works are composed of analogies: religious and cultural analogies. There are forms and colors that seem religious, that reference religion, but are not, actually, religious at all.