Agriculture, Pride, and Scruples
A Closed-Circuit Guided Exhibit Tour
Photos by: Asaf Saban
The performance follows a sequence of stories about agriculture and its international export from Israel. Taking the form of a guided tour through a didactic exhibit, this project examines representations of agriculture in Israel from the early days of the Jewish settlement in Palestine through the establishment of the State of Israel and down to today. Agriculture in the early days of Zionism and until recently has undergone various formulations dictated by changing sociological, utopian, religious, and economic ideologies. These have manifested — and continue to manifest — through a plethora of “performances” such as cattle exhibitions in the 1930s and 1940s, flowers exhibitions in the 1970s and 1980s, and agriculture technology exhibitions throughout the years.
Agriculture, Pride, and Scruples includes a sculptural installation and an accompanying "guide" who reveals stories about the cultural lives of local rural communities, their personal and collective narratives, and how images of them were used in the national branding Israel. The work looks at the dissonance between a utopian, modest society and its representation within an aggressive and wanton global capitalist culture.