“L (A) T T I T U D E S”–an exploration of maps of Israel and Palestine created by ten contemporary artists, opened last week in the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery. You can view elements of the entire show at their virtual gallery.
Unquestionably the boldest piece of work on display, both for its physical presence and unambiguous ideological declaration, is Avner Bar Hama’s “Orange Map: Today Gush Katif–Tomorrow Jaffa.” And while the works on display are in several different media including photography, fresco on wood; paint, ink and goache on paper and collages using all sorts of maps; undoubtedly the most unusual medium is Bar Hama’s use of artificial oranges and “Jaffa” stickers to create a 25-foot map of Israel on the floor of the gallery. For the uninitiated, orange was the color embraced by Israeli settlers opposed to the 2005 unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Israeli army’s dismantlement of the settlements (among them were some 17 that comprised a bloc known as Gush Katif). Once you know that, and that in addition to being a variety of orange, Jaffa is also a city located directly next to Tel Aviv, the title sort of says it all.
Rather than delve more deeply into the political culture behind the work (or for that matter, the politics behind works in the exhibit that come from a markedly different perspective), we thought it would be interesting to post a brief photo essay of how 1300 artificial oranges become a map of Israel.