CPS – ¿The Rest is History?

Research, planning tool and masterplan for Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, 2010

Ariel Reichman

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A photograph I had taken as a soldier in the IDF ( 2002 ), shows a dead man lying in house ruins, while half of his body is covered with rocks. The man is barefoot. Six years later I watched the film ‘Jenin Jenin’, by director and actor Muhamad Bakri. On the timeline 02:43, during a three second sequence, I recognized the exact same image I had taken in my photograph. Looking closely at these two documents, one a photograph and the other a video still, one sees that there are minor differences in the positioning of the installation. A rock appears only in the video still, the body slightly moved as well. Questions of reality, truth, the document came to mind and the surreal idea that Bakri and myself were at the same moment in time and space, or were we? Bakri himself was going under trial, accused of faking and manipulating the film. A subjective point of view would be totally forbidden according to this accusation as the film was published as a documentary film. While intensely looking into these two images for a while, I could not anymore ignore the fact there lies a dead body that we know nothing about. Suddenly the idea of theoretical and philosophical questions seemed irrelevant and I felt the need to concentrate on the person himself, somehow going back to primitive thinking. This was my conclusion. As a child I was addicted to memorial films showing young beautiful brave soldiers that had died in war. They were presented as heroes and surely I fantasised of the day I would become a hero myself. The films became pornographic. Always heard were the mothers, sisters, brothers and friends repeating the words “He was…”, praising the qualities of their loved one. I decided to use this construction and apply it to the man lying in both the images, my own and that of Bakri’s. Herofying the dead.


1979, Johannesburg. Emigrated to Israel in 1991. Lives and works in Berlin
“My endeavors bring me to re-think the political using an intimate approach. One’s subjective memories, daily rituals and fantasies are the basis of my interests. I am attracted by the state-of-mind of things; the possibility of encountering victory as well as defeat and total failure – never gazing from a distance, as the other, but rather working from the inside. Surely the intimate is political, and through this agreement one can attempt to understand the politics of one’s self and one’s surroundings, be it truth or fiction, historical reality or fable. The intimate can help explain the political in a profound and deep way.”
Ariel Reichman studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem, and received an Master of Fine Arts from Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) by Katharina Sieverding and Hito Steyerl. He works in the fields of photography, film, performance, drawing, sculpture and installation . His work has been exhibited at Program Gallery, Berlin, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow and Mediations Biennale, Poland, plus other exhibitions in Paris, Tel Aviv and Germany.

Written by cpsman8

March 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm

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