Anthony Stellaccio

I came to Israel with an idea of what I would make for the “Post-Colonialism?” project. However, having had the opportunity to spend an entire month traveling through Israel and the West Bank before the start of the symposium, which I did together with Argentina’s Pablo Ponce, my experience of Israel became charged with a local brand of intensity. To witness the conditions enforced and endured in some of Israel’s most complex and contentious territories is to wreak havoc on the psyche, to watch preconceived notions of place dramatically unravel, and to demand reflection and response under unusual strain. Perhaps most of this mental undoing was done by Hebron, which is physically segregated by armed security forces, barricades, barbed wire, checkpoints, international observers, and the lifeless strips of uninhabited city lying between Palestinian quarters and Jewish settlement. Seeing such tragic losses of reason and compassion for the first time cannot but cause preconceived viewpoints and premeditated artistic visions to crumble. What I ultimately made for the project thus became a direct response to my time in Israel, and it became a way of processing, and coping with what I had seen and felt.

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