Pushback Prickly, 2015
in collaboration with Karen Gimle, installation view from One Night Only, Oslo
Stripped tree trunks, digital print on canvas, nylon rope
The hand holding the burning cigarette travels sideways like a storm drifting over the open desert. How far can I reach? Im in a car traveling the folds of the southwest region of the country and the road is steadying out and becom- ing flat and giving off an energy like a vortex leading into the horizon. (David Wojnarowicz)
In the past, many borders were not clearly defined, but neutral zones called marshlands. The concept of a marshland has been replaced by demarcation and clearly defined lines. In this project, we are moving in landscapes of borders, experiencing a growing fear and an increasing need of creating and withholding boundaries. Walls of stone and walls of cactus, defined paths that you are allowed to move within. The prickly pear cactus has become an object of complex history and important symbolic values. Because of its impervious and resilient characteristics the cactus has been used to divide spaces, agricultural as well as politically conflicted. It contains significant yet paradoxical cultural value for both Israel and Palestine. In hebrew the cactus is called Sabra, describing a Jew born in Israel, while for the Palestin- ian people it represents a struggle for freedom and surviving. In 1961 the cactus was used to build a “natural fence” surrounding Guantanamo Bay in order to keep Cubans from escape to the US. It was dubbed the Cactus Curtain.
In the construction of a performative and spacial language, we are using the symbolic and historical value of selected materials. Discussing the need of control, and the fear of chaos in contrast to the nature of disorder.
Text: K. Gimle and G. Torgersen