Ahunnaya (via birthofasupervillain)
Francis Alys: The Green Line:‘Sometimes doing something poetic can become political, and sometimes doing something political can become poetic’ (2004)
In this work the artist walks the Green Line through Jerusalem, a temporary cease-fire boundary created initially by the UN after the Arab-Israeli war of 1947–48 but redrawn by the Israeli authorities in 2004 as a more permanent barrier that incorporates gains made at the expense of Jordan after the Six Day war in 1967.
The line has no legality and offends against Alÿs’ belief in a world without borders. In original UN maps the demarcation line was marked in green ink. In the work, Alÿs carries a tin of green paint, with a hole in the bottom, through the streets of Jerusalem. He dribbles paint along the division between Arab and Jew, a symbolic act, an act of petty vandalism inviting an (over)reaction from the israeli authorities, a gesture, a joke. It is an action painting, both poetic and political, an ephemeral work which, like the boundary it follows, will dissolve with time.
There is more, much more, to Alÿs’ show but walking as a form of aesthetic and socio-political intervention is a large part of it and he shares his belief in the use of humour and the theatre of the absurd as a means of focussing attention on issues that might otherwise go unnoticed because of their familiarity, their normality. via art threat
Shortly after this walk, a filmed documentation of the walk was presented to a number of people whom he invited to react spontaneously to the action and the circumstances within which it was performed.
*I’ve blogged this work many time before, but Francis Alys has posted all the amazing video interviews from this piece on his website. Unfortunately they can not be embedded in tumblr, but Eyal Weizman’s is particularly good and it’s worth leaving tumblr for!
The interviews include:
Jerusalem - Anthropologist
Jerusalem – Historian
Tel Aviv - Member of Knesset
London - Art Historian
Jerusalem - Activist
Ramallah - Journalist
Jerusalem – Architect
Tel Aviv and Paris - Filmmaker
Tel Aviv and London - Architect
Jerusalem - Activist
**see one video below: