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The Sculpture Legion


installation view at the Center for Digital Arts, Holon, 2011


At the heart of a typical residential area in central Israel, as in others residential areas throughout the country, lies a military base that houses —at least according to the warning signs on the fence—a facility of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel’s weapons development authority. A strange white tent, dilapidated structures, and a large building topped by communications equipment are partly visible from the street. Walls with barbed wire surround the complex. It is a common, familiar sight, bearing a familiar message: I’m there, don’t look, don’t ask questions. Armed soldiers patrol outside the wall, likewise conveying that photography is forbidden and visitors unwelcome. Indeed, very few people know what goes on inside the complex at the heart of this pastoral neighborhood. Yochai Avrahami resides nearby, close to "there"—the "there" possibly housing IDF’s sculpting department (and possibly not). If this is the case, what exactly do they sculpt there? When the media reported Hezbollah’s claim to have found Israeli wiretapping and surveillance facilities in Lebanon, the organization also presented photographs of these areas, which clearly showed attempts to sculpt rocks, to imitate the terrain, to mimic caves. From this minimal information, Avrahami’s sculpting workshop was born, and its documentation was "leaked" to the exhibition. The rest will be told in the chronicles of the State of Israel.


Gilead Melzer

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