“Everything’s the same, but at the same time everything’s changed. It changes the configuration of things slightly, not in a dramatic way, but in a way where you suddenly see something rather differently.” Jean Fisher in the interview with Francis Alÿs.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective ones. This week class was something that many people would characterise as even trivial, because of the simplicity that I mentioned before.
Miranda prepared for us a set of noteworthy art projects, mainly in the film form, which we used as a background to our main task. The thing we had to do was put our thoughts in writing and drawing while watching those resources. To be honest this was one of my favourite interdisciplinary classes so far, because I could relax a little bit and I did not have to think a lot about what exactly am I doing. I was trying to transfer stimuli surrounding me on paper without focusing on the deepest sense of the presenting content. Later in my house, I decided to make further research to fully understand the sense and intentions of the projects.
The art project which awoken my interest the most was “The Green Line” by Francis Alÿs. The artist used green paint to make a 24 km line through the municipality of Jerusalem. It seemed like just an interesting concept the first time I watched it. After the deeper analyse I come to know the deepest meaning behind this work.
“During the months from December 1947 through June 1948, there was heavy fighting in Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity. The city was divided in two by the front lines (…).
The statutory basis on which the partition of Jerusalem rested was the cease-fire agreement signed on November 30, 1948 between Moshe Dayan ‘commander of all the Israeli forces in the Jerusalem region’, and Abdullah al-Tal, ‘representing the Arab Legion and all the other forces in the Jerusalem area’.(…)
The lines were sketched on a Mandatory 1:20,000 scale map. Moshe Dayan drew the Israeli line with a green grease pencil, while Abdullah Al-Tal marked his front line with a red one. The grease pencil made lines 3 to 4 millimetres wide. Sketched on a map whose scale was 1:20,000, such lines in reality represented strips of land 60 to 80 meters width.
Who owned the ‘width of the line’?”
MERON BENVENISTI, City of Stone
The Hidden History of Jerusalem
Even if the concept of using paint as the material to make the line is not fine with me, because it is very harmful to the environment. The liquid was poured on plants which surely made damage on them, additionally, animals probably licked it and I am pretty sure that could even kill some of them. Either way, I still like the idea of the journey and following the previously established border.
When I was watching some of the interviews with Francis Alÿs, the one I remember the most was that conducted by an art historian – Jean Fisher and filmmaker – Eyal Sivan.
The quote I put at the beginning is the words said by Jean Fisher. It is the subject I thought about a lot myself, the meanings of the small things that can turn the tide. I find this topic very interesting and I spend many hours in my life just thinking about it and making different stories based on ‘What if I did that thing just slightly different…?’
The second interview was with Eyal Sivan. They brought up the subject of the border as an invention of mankind, the thing that does not really exist, the thing that people created for their own profits. We as humans – set limits to ourselves, which are only restrains of our minds.