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Paradigma design gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel – February – March, 2011
Yoav Avinoam, Gil Sheffi, Maayan Hagar
KALAB (army slang: close to home)
“I was 5 years old when, an artillery battery was built in the empty field across my house in Beit HaKerem, Jerusalem. A paratrooper’s brigade settled as well in our neighborhood, preparing for the battle that will ultimately unite Jerusalem. We, the kids of the neighborhood, wondered around the soldiers and our “job” was to fill sand bags to cover the entrance to our homes. When the war started, the cannons were firing day and night. We were at the shelter hearing the shells falling in the field. One of these made a hole in the wall of our porch.” This traumatic childhood memory of Ezri Tarzi blends with the realization that forthcoming wars will be very close to home and that the once very determined distinction, between battlefront and rear, will blare and become indistinct. In the Israeli existence, which was born out of military conflict, there is a strong mixture between military and civil life and this defines certain culture. This symbiotic connection is taking many faces, from reserve duty as part of routine civil life, through military slang that becomes part of the spoken language, to home objects made of battle “souvenirs”, such as vases made of bomb shells and ashtrays made of bullet shells.The home becomes a “closed military zone” that in its comfort can diminish the natural defense mechanism. This exhibition raises the questions of security, anxiety, home and sense of security, at times when soldiers and civilians play equal part in the confrontation. This could be the confrontation with our enemies or the confrontation within us, between our primal behaviors and the tamed ones.