246 Sides To A Story

I was trundling along a street in Jerusalem, dripping with sweat from the fierce Israel sun. Gross. It was a rough neighborhood, no charm here. Lots of garages and other things like garages… light industry kind of stuff but all old and grungy. I was looking for an art gallery I noticed on google maps and as with almost all grass-roots galleries, it would be in gungville for the low rents.

As I approached a corner my eye was drawn to a five-story industrial building, first to the black writing on a white background and eventually to the wack of holes all over the rest of the building. The property was ringed with a tall wire fence and the window have long gone.I love edgy public art and I immediately knew this is the real deal.

Yup, it was. I finally find what I am looking for – a sign to tell me what I am looking AT!

This abandoned flour factory was caught in the cross fire during the Six Day War in 1967.

This project was created as part of Walls Festival, produced by Ghostown.

The numbered holes are bullet holes and the writing on the building had corresponding numbers with a short text for each of the bullet holes. It’s a powerful work, sitting all by itself… no park, no fanfare. Just 346 bullet holes and 346 sides to the story. I felt the layers of events throughout time on this building… all the stories of the people who worked inside this flour factory for years… the violence of the 6 Day War which scarred not only the building but the people who were part of the fighting and who used to work in the building.. and now with the artist’s touch… it felt like he opened the book of this building’s story in a way, without him it would be barely noticeable let alone note-able.

I stood and took pictures, read the ‘sides’, looked around to see if anyone else was taking notice. Nope they might have been staring at the goofy tourist but not at the building.. I think the people who walk around that neighborhood generally don’t get public art and the ones who might are in cars driving away.

It wouldn’t get out of my head so I went searching on the internet for more information. This piece was created by Addam Yekutieli, the artist formerly know as Know Hope. Here’s what he says about the project during an interview with elephant.art:

I’ve always been interested in attempting to address political situations from an emotional or even sentimental standpoint. The building is located near the Green Line and the facade from all sides is covered with bullet holes, primarily from the Six Day War. I wanted to approach it as a collective historical experience, but give each bullet a narrative, a personal story. This led to assigning a short text to each numbered bullet hole, creating an index of sorts. I wanted to attempt to dissect the political reality that has formed since and see it as a collective psychology, composed of these small moments of personal perspective that will hopefully allow a different understanding of the current situation in this region.

With this piece, the concept was developed around the wall/building itself. Once I heard the story and learned more about the location of the building I felt that it wouldn’t be right to paint a piece that covered the surface. Instead I wanted to find a way to emphasize the history of the building by bringing the bullet holes to the forefront.

It was a very surreal experience, as the days we were working on it coincided with the massive and violent protests at the Gaza border, the relocation of the American embassy and Israel’s celebrations after winning the Eurovision created surreal energy of intensified desperation combined with grotesque patriotism. These clashes created an interesting experience to work in, while reflecting on the building, which was almost like an “artefact”, or symbol of a historical milestone.

 

You can go to Addam Yekutieli’s web site This Is Limbo for better photos.

What do you think? Leave a comment and/or share, I’d appreciate it. ❤

PS
I finally found the art gallery I was searching for, and you guessed it, in a grubby 5 story building behind a garage a few blocks from this place. They were on the 5th floor, no elevator. sigh. It really wasn’t worth the effort and to top it off the guy who let me in had no idea about the 346 Sides to the Story project! sigh Ironic, no? But I was grateful because if I hadn’t have been in the neighborhood looking for them I wouldn’t have found the public art gold that I did!

5 thoughts on “246 Sides To A Story

  1. This post is super interesting to me because I was 10 years old and living in Israel with my family in Haifa, during the Six Day war. My father was on sabbatical for a year from his post as a lecturer in engineering and architecture at the university in Johannesburg, South Africa where I grew up. I have many memories of that war, the sirens, the shelter, the fear, the victory.

    http://www.greenglobaltrek.com/2014/12/my-connection-to-israel-returning-years-later.html

    And that said, I do love coming across interesting places, such as you did, when we least expect it. The classic…”it’s the journey, not the destination.”

    Peta

    Like

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