TO EACH OLIVE... Video. C-Print. Installation. 2007
To Each Olive... Videoart, 6 min. 2007
To Each Olive... C-Prints. 90 x 50 cm. 2007
To Each Olive... Installation . 2007
Every olive has a name
"And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them?" The Book of Genesis, the "Lech-Lecha" Torah portion
Every year, after Sukkot and the first rain, we visit our friends in Beer-Sheba and gather olives in their garden.
The harvest takes less than a day, and yet we are able to gather enough to supply our whole family with olive oil and pickled olives for the rest of the year, until the next harvest.
Is it possible to count the olives?
It is possible.
Likewise, it is possible to count the seeds of a pomegranate, or the fruits of a palm tree and a fig tree.
For this reason, I love to gather and prepare olives.
I know that the things that I can count will be "tamed" and raised by me; these things will be named.
We all love to count.
We are constantly conducting population censuses.
We want to know where we live, how we live, how many of us – and how many of them – there are around.
What I'd like to know is: what kind of people are we?
In order to find out what kind of people we are, I need to set a benchmark for myself.
The Kabbalah tells us that "Israel" is a higher spiritual category than a Hebrew ("Ivri" – one who has "crossed over", i.e. one who has transcended his selfish nature, or a Jew (one whose life is a testament to the existence of God).
The Israeli, whose mission is to carry the light of God unto all nations – what kind of person is he?
Judaism tells us that every individual Jew is responsible for the whole nation – to the same degree as the nation is responsible for the individual Jew.
I muse on these subjects in my movie, using quotes from the Mishnah, the Gemarah, and the Babylonian Talmud.
The second part of the project is 3 photographs sized 90 X 50 cm.
The third part of the project consists of olives that have been prepared by me."