Alona Rodeh

Above and Beyond


Cardboard, natural vegetation, OSB sheets, projections and sound; Dimensions Variable; Sound: 4:29 min looped; Original Score: Yoni Silver;

"...For “Above and Beyond,” originally planned for and commissioned by the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) Tel Aviv, Rodeh has grafted onto a white cube one of the holiest sites of Judaism and the most popular pilgrimage site in Israel, the Wailing Wall – or, rather, an abstract recreation of the wall constructed of cardboard. The viewer walks into a dark, smoky room, filled with Oriental music. The rhythmic melody is reminiscent of snake charming, calling to mind the performative manipulation of this highly symbolic reptile through its master’s hypnosis. The music, recorded especially for the work by Israeli composer Yoni Silver, is made by the human body as instrument: whistles, claps and foot stomps, that tantalizes and draw to the light piercing through the cracks between the wall’s “stones.” Clearly alluding to rays of holy light, Rodeh’s beams punch through the wall almost like stained glass windows in a cathedral. The wall, where the Jewish people have come for generations to pray and wish and fling their faith against a stone fence, stands almost as if to entertain it’s new pilgrimage. Rodeh takes her inspiration not only from the Wailing Wall itself, but from Holy Land theme parks and biblical video games, from recreated Jewish icons rented for Bar and Bat Mizvahs and Las Vegas chic, and from the show business of religion. (Text: Chen Tamir)