Excavations in Haifa
2010 – 3 video projections onto sand
This work was developed for the "First Mediterranean Biennale" in Haifa, Israel 2010.
The floor of a shipping container is entirely covered with sand. In the dark space you see three circular projections on the sand, like flashlights with a round soft border. Each projection shows a pair of arms digging in the ground excavating products of our culture. The sequences were shot in a box filled with sand, so that now the viewer gets the impression as if the projected hands are digging in the real sand. The visitor is allowed to enter the container and to walk around the projections.
The first pair of arms is unearthing things of the world of recreation: a pink sandal, a bracelet, plastic toys et al. You hear the sound of the sea.
The second female pair of arms recovers household goods as a pot, a purse, a broken plate, a mirror et al. You hear the sounds of a rural area by night: cicadas, birds, passing cars and dogs barking in the distance.
The third pair of arms excavates things of our working environment and warfare: a pistol, a beer bottle, a wrench, a photo et al. You hear the sounds of a city at night, cars crossing, ambulance sirens, footsteps et al.
This work is an extension of the video work “Ausgrabungen" (Excavations) first shown 2004 at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn in a display case. A version with a projection onto a sandbox was shown 2008 at Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Bielefeld.
With “Excavations in Haifa” I want to refer to Israel where ancient history meets present time.
What will remain of our present culture? What will be excavated by a next generation?