It Took Me Till Now to Find You
Private View: Thursday 27th April 6-9pm
Exhibition runs: Friday 28th April – Saturday 10 June 2017
Lazarides is pleased to present It Took Me Till Now to Find You, a new project by Addam Yekutieli, aka Know Hope.
“For the past few months I’ve been working on a project that is very different from what I normally work on, in the sense that it deals with a very close and local issue. Generally, I try to deal with issues from a universal standing point, but this time I wanted to research this conflict from a personal standing point, and less ideological or intellectual. The project, titled; ‘It Took Me Till Now To Find You’, attempts to portray a complex political reality, through describing an on-going historical narrative.
For this project I’ve been collecting letters written by Palestinians and Israelis, with the aim of hearing about notions of belonging, of homeland and longing. The authors of the letters come from eclectic backgrounds and various walks of life- left wing, right wing, settlers, military objectors, religious and secular.
Each letter is addressed to whichever recipient the author chose fitting. At times, the letter is open ended, and other times it is addressed to someone very specific. The letters are all handwritten on paper in an intimate and personal tone.
One of the letters was written by a bereaved Israeli parent addressed to the parents of the person that killed her son David during his mandatory military service, and another written by a Palestinian mother about her hopes that the limitations her daughter will face as a woman will be different than those that she experienced growing up. In most of the letters, both the biography of the author and recipient is unknown, leaving the interpretation of the narrative open to the reader.
Throughout the gallery space are replicas of the Segregation Wall that stands between Israel and Palestine. These replicas are mounted on the gallery wall, with tree roots extending from the bottom, as if they were broken out and uprooted from their original context and location. Phrases from the letters were then extracted and scratched into the surface of the wall, scrawled hastily conveying a sense of urgency and presence, sometimes reaching the other side of the wall.
By taking these texts out of their original context it is unclear whom the original author is, allowing it to gain a universal and ambiguous meaning and thus broaden the participation in the political discourse.
There is an attempt to perceive these issues as if they were an emotional mechanism, part of larger political realities, thus bypassing the traditional discourse on these issues and communicate an observation on the intricacies of living in this conflict.
Paired with each of these pieces is an additional piece that consists of the original handwritten letter, the tool used to scratch the text into the wall, bottles of dust accumulated from the scratching and a painting of silhouettes of the roots of a tree, painted using the accumulated dust as pigment.
By creating a juxtaposition between the fragments of the walls with these sets of ‘artifacts’ I hope to suggest a narrative, or a common path that led these texts to be scratched onto the surface, a testament to an urgent moment that one was forced into. Underneath the semantics and unburdened by polemics of the political discourse, there is empathy, a very possible recognizing of the humanness that resides in those of us that share this wall, regardless of what side of the wall we are on.
The phrase “It Took Me Till Now to Find You” was taken from a letter written by a holocaust survivor to her childhood friend whose father was in the Gestapo. The two girls, both now in their late 80’s, were bound by friendship and separated by circumstance, reconnected in spite of what had come between them. This is why I chose this phrase for the title of the exhibition, to speak of the tribulations and generation-surpassing grudge that many times takes place until a meeting point is found.
This project hopes to communicate the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while focusing on the image of the wall as an allegory to a shared reality.” – Addam Yekutieli, 2017
About Addam Yekutieli, aka Know Hope
Over the past decade, Addam Yekutieli (pseudonym Know Hope) has developed a visual iconography and language used to mirror real-life situations and observations, and document the notion of a collective human struggle. By creating parallels between political situations and emotional conditions, there is an attempt to perceive the political process and dialogue as an emotional mechanism, therefore making it a process that can be understood and participated in intuitively and not solely intellectually.
These processes take place both indoors and outdoors, in the form of site-specific installations, murals and assemblages, combining ready-made materials, mixed media pieces, photographs and text. By placing these works in public spaces, Yekutieli aims to make the separation between the emotional and political non-existent, and allow the viewers to see themselves in the larger context of their surroundings simply by recognizing each other.
Since early 2016, the artist has been corresponding with incarcerated individuals currently serving sentences on death row in a Nashville prison. Following this correspondence, fragments of sentences from the inmates’ letters were extracted and placed on a series of billboards around the city. By taking these phrases out of their original context and placing them in a new one, a newfound presence for the inmates takes place in public space and a dialogue within an interactive environment is created between two separate realities.
This dynamic process allows a reflection on notions such as ones origin and permits an intuitive and empathetic understanding of a commonly complex issue. Furthermore, the incorporation of these texts in public spaces creates not only a re- contextualization of the text, but also distances the artist form the role of the exclusive author of the image.
Yekutieli has worked and exhibited internationally and has projects and exhibitions scheduled in London and Paris throughout 2017.
Yekutieli lives and works in Tel Aviv.
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