It Took Me Till Now to Find You, Lazarides Gallery, London, 2017

May 8, 2017
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For this exhibition I collected 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.

Phrases from the letters were then extracted and scratched into the surface of replicas of the Segregation Wall that stands between Israel and Palestine. The carvings are scrawled hastily, conveying a sense of urgency and presence, sometimes reaching the other side of the wall. Extending from the bottom of the slabs of are olive tree roots as if they were broken out and uprooted from their original context and location.

It Took Me Till Now To Find You attempts to portray a complex political reality, through describing an on-going historical narrative. 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.
All this, creates a suggested narrative, based on true and authentic sentiments and attempts to paint a comprehensive portrait of the region.

Click here for curatorial text written by Moran Shoub