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THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM2010, PERFORMANCE / INSTALLATION


A tourist attempts to ride a bicycle from Ramallah to Jerusalem.
His journey is interrupted by a nine-metre high concrete wall.
His bicycle is cut, flipped and welded back together.

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The Israeli-Palestine separation barrier is a concrete wall that divides the Palestinian territories from the rest of Israel. In the town of Bir Naballa, this wall was built directly across the road, like a prop in a slapstick comedy. It split the local community in two, making it impossible for some families to see one another. This commercial hub became a wasteland.

This work examines the position of an English tourist in the West Bank, unconscious of the mechanisms of a militarised state. Throughout Palestine, a network of walls and checkpoints ensures that Israeli sovereignty is articulated in the state's ability to block movement across its boundaries. Foreigners (Palestinians) may be stopped and detained without explanation. Meanwhile, Internationals (tourists, businessmen) may pass freely through Israel, blind to this apparatus of cultural apartheid.

This work takes its title from a novel about European crusaders in the Middle East.

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Performance transcript

Commissioned by Al-Mahatta Gallery (Ramallah)
Presented at Qalandiya International Biennale (Jerusalem)