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Military firing area 2 or : Journey to the regions of blindness


“Military firing area 2” is a sequel of “Military firing area 1” through her perturbed view over the human and moral price charged by life in a fighting, military society.

This is not a protest exhibition in the ordinary sense of that word, which recruits a group of artists aiming to protest against the conquest and demands withdrawal from the occupied areas.  These slogans were transferred during these days to the urgency space of demonstrations on roads and city squares.  The exhibition “Military firing area 2” identifies the Israeli society as the product of continuous militarism and regards it as a society that rises against childhood, innocence and belief in mankind and imposes upon them rigidity, shutting of their hearts and emotional alienation.

The innocent childhood was a corner stone in the Zionistic culture: eternally young, purified through the dew of its renewed youth and dipping in its rituals, childish in its narcissistic self-affection, confident in the sensation of justice of the one who was defeated and had risen out of its ashes. Zionism has chosen the blue and white colors for the colors of its flag- the colors of innocence and purity, the color of the clean sky- a horizon of hope. And behold, out of the pure sky-blue, emerged and rose Nimrod, the fighter and the hunter, his eyes eagerly seeking his prey and his hands holding the weapon. Where exactly does the innocent child meet the fearless warrior?

At the same time in which the images of light and sunshine painted the beginning of the Israeli existence in the east, the blindness regions were marked against them as well. The Israeli society was doomed for blindness the minute it chose not to see that which was closest to it, that which rubs it on shoulder height, that which is found in the most intimate neighborliness - the Palestinians.

The continuous habit of not seeing and not noticing has built an emotional wall which is unseen and which hurt the primary element of mental health- the ability to develop intimate relations with that which is near the most daily and accessible. The years of education executed their role: a whole nation was born blind.  

Nurit Gur-Lavie (Karni) opens a field review which was immersed in darkness as regards the Israeli society – she paints the refugee camp of Jebalia. Nurit Gur-Lavie (Karni) returns and accepts into her soft and lyric painting, the chaotic labyrinth of Jabalia. The attempt made by Nurit Gur-Lavie (Karni) to look at the direction that is not looked at, is blocked at its beginning: the visual information she holds, fixes the distance that cannot be diminished between us and the Jabalia refugee camp- the distance of aerial photograph made from a helicopter. Gur-Lavi is not carried away into imaginary intimacy or wishes to form close relationships- on the contrary, she is aware of the distance, conscious of the failure to be there- inside, to cross the screen of demonization and repression and penetrate “ the close and esoteric existence in which exist a society, culture, families and people…”. Just as the angel in the sky of Berlin, she overlooks the dense roofs and identifies a big cross-road in the center which tears a dense succession of alleys, solar boilers, bicycles laid on white roof, tires, wash hanging in the yards, some flowerpots here and there and some vines. From above, the arrangement of the bricks on the roofs seems more like a folkloristic embroidery stitch that testifies to the human hand that styled it. Yet, just as the embroidery, everything remains far and flat “an alienated distance from a place that we hardly acknowledge its mere existence”.


Tali Tamir-Curator

Hakibutz gallery

Dov Hoz st.\7

Tel Aviv , Israel