This is the Wall

 

This is for the archive, the front page of the former site
http://this.is/TheWall
active between 2003 and 2012 when the wall was built.

When Israel built it we were there documenting. The site contained documentation of the wall, interviews with activists and facts.

TheWall skärmavb1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheWall skärmavb2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The site visualized with photos and maps how present the wall was for the citizens on the palestinian occupied areas and how Israel had made non-go areas for civilians on the Israeli side – fenced it off.

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See photos of the wall and the art on the wall in the project Networking on the Wall

 

Applause

Installation view: Göteborgs Museum, Sweden 24/1 – 1/3 1998

Applause, 1998.

I work with a reciever during the realization of the piece. What is interesting in this method is that I cannot control the answers. In this way I push the limits for my private space and for that I have to take the consequences. It is not possible to applaud with one hand.

On a large back-projection screen (2.5 X 3m.), hanging freely from the ceiling in the middle of the dark room the bodies of the man and woman are creating an applause with their movements.

The upright intercourse was filmed by a third person pulling the camera in a circle around the couple. The couple is filmed from the waist up. The size of the room in the film is the same as the exhibition room (150m2). The screen in the exhibition space shows the video on both sides, and the viewer may move around the screen in the same way as the camera had filmed the couple.

The filmed intercourse starts in real time, gradually slows down, then gradually speeds up again and ends in real time.

The duration of the original take is 30 mins. but the final length of the screened video is three times longer than the original take: 1 hour and 37 minutes. Both video (picture) and audio (sound) were fed through four computers non-stop during a period of two weeks rendering a special gradual motion effect whereby two thirds of the video, two thirds of the facial expressions and movements of the couple, have frame by frame been generated by the computer.

Cyberspace does not exist as a space, it could however exists as soon as one acts. This is communication.

Joret Ed Dahab

Joret Ed Dahab, Jenin, April 2002

Joret Ed Dahab, means the hole where one can search for gold.

 

Power

Stockholm 2002-09-01

What’s in my power? As the human being I am, born into a specific life situation, in a country: Sweden, in my profession: visual artist… what do I experience, what do I see, what do I react on? How come there’s a feeling that ones time is not free? That freedom of thought doesn’t cohere with freedom of act. What is it like to be occupied by something that has been forced upon you? What happens a person living in a country that is occupied? It’s not just that the land you walk on, the air space above your head and the water resources, are controlled, but also your communication with others, those who are outside the check points where you need specific laisser passé to go to work or take your children to school… Also your movements of thought become limited. As Waleed, a friend in Palestine, expressed it ”My mind is occupied”, ”I have no time to think about anything else than survival”.

In December 2001 I went to Palestine for the first time, together with my colleague Ana Valdés, to – according to the invitation – make contacts and formulate ideas for a future cultural exchange. We have the belief that cultural arenas are spaces where different perspectives can be presented and discussed in another way than in media and in the political discourses. Last spring the emails from our contact persons in Palestine got more and more desperate. Ramallah was under siege, and now also Jenin was struck, they needed help and witnesses to what was happening there. Ana and I went to Palestine and spent April 20 – 23, 2002 in Jenin. In media one is informed about what is happening through numbers, but we met persons, of course. The counted dead and wounded and those who survived have names, they are somebody. They all have a name and they have relatives and friends.

In June we published a web site http://this.is/Jenin showing 450 photos, a number of recorded stories told by people who lived in the camp. There is also a detailed map on the site showing every house, which were destroyed and those possible to repair. Now, as I am writing this, more homes and quarters have been destroyed after several new raids

Even in democratic countries in peace it seems to be, and I wonder how come, a communication gap between people and the elected politicians, who have been given a mission and therefore can, change structures in the society. Do we really trust the ones we elect? Do the ones we elect trust us? The question is: Do we really wish each other well?

Seven Israelis dead and fiftyfour wounded in the blast of a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. An invasion of tanks in Nablus is the revenge, more dead, but now Palestinians. Everyone in Israel and Palestine has someone close who have been attacked. One month after the publication of our web site I get an e-mail from a man in Canada who asks me if I hate Jews. His e-mail is aggressive, I wonder if I really should answer it.

From: ”Daniel” To: ceciliaparsberg@yahoo.com Subject: Curious??? ”I was just curious why you don’t just admit the truth that you are Nazi scum? I’m certain if you had lived around 60 years ago you would have raced over to Aushwitz and Treblinka to join in on the fun. I hope evil cunts like you get cancer and have a painful lingering death.” He ends writing his full name and address.

I answered: ”Your mail to me is violent. Why? You are in Canada and have the possibilities to raise questions how we all can live together in this world. As my friends, both Israelians and Palestinians, I don’t exclude people because of their sex (as you do in your mail to me) race, religion or colour of skin. We can all live together if atrocities stop, violence is not used anywhere (so I think you should stop using it, to speak is to act). Cecilia.

Two weeks later he wrote to me again: From: ”Daniel”, To: ceciliaparsberg@yahoo.com Subject: My apologies if you construed my previous mail as violent., however….. My nasty e-mail to you previously was simply an example of the sort of visceral response I have towards people whom I perceive, in all honesty, as being very similar in certain key respects to people who tortured and murdered several members of my family. I was just curious why you don’t boycott people who do this: An explosion at Hebrew University in Jerusalem kills 7 and injures 80+. Police say the blast is a terror attack. Is it because you simply hate Jews????? Yours truly, Daniel.

I answered that I don’t hate Jews, that we all are individuals and we can’t accept to be packaged in groups like: religion, nationality and so forth and that there are many Jews who discuss this, for example the organization ”Not in my name” http://www.nimn.org . In war people become anonymous, but each of us have a responsibility for how we act towards our neighbour. Activists around the world organize, many of them young people, arguing and acting for human rights, that every human being should have the right to affect and change the life situation he or she is born into. I also wrote that I admired the organizations ”Bat Shalom” and ”Women in black” in which Israeli and Palestinian women cooperate and help each other to handle every-day-life situations, like: Israeli women meet up and take care of Palestinian children when they are going to school, so that they don’t have to wait for hours at a check point. I think these women should have a place in the politics because through their actions they show possibilities to solve conflicts.

During the nineties a slogan circulated: ”The personal is the political” and thus the general. My work was then about sexuality and borders between the sexes. Sexuality is one of our driving forces we use in our creativity and in contact with others but is acted out in a private sphere. Sexuality has become something we demarcate and often should hide. Sexuality is often exploited commercially, the Porn Industry is said to be the worlds biggest industry, and that is not strange, because the pornographic image is about something that everybody indulges in as much as they desire. But how can one allow an ”industry” to create so many preconceptions of the female and male body, or a state? Propaganda works this way, by creating images that occupies our mind until we make them our own.

How can I accept to become a passive receiver of this? In a society there’s a need for people who stir ”our perception” – the way we look upon things. The Porn industry would have too great an influence on the representation of sexuality if there weren’t other images concerning sexuality, in our education, at Maternity Clinics, in the Fine Arts, in the fashions and so forth. Within each of these areas images are made and they all reflect a contemporary understanding of sexuality. Images give us information, images reflect and speak to us. Suddenly all images of the photo models wearing wide jeans is being generally accepted and becomes a part of our conception of what we think is looking smart. In the same way we ”understand” a certain type of music because we are not alone and isolated in the listening, it’s played here, there and everywhere and we hear it unconsciously, get used to it and then likes it partly because we recognize it. We communicate with each other direct and indirect.

A contemporary artist has the power to connect the images made to the impressions images make, to see the relation to history, source, reference and visualize a future. These connections span a vast and limitless zone. (One has to be able to demarcate a certain area, a context, to be able to really understand and mediate what one sees, this is happening within each person.)

The title of my piece is ”Joret Ed Dahab, means the hole where one can search for gold”. The large photograph was one of the 500 photos I took in Jenin and the only one I took because I saw something beautiful. When we walked inside what was left of the house, passing a set of stairs, there was a remarkable light and I turned around to be in it. The light came through holes in the wall and ceiling and through the window I saw a landscape of houses, an infinite landscape of shadows and voices. The borders dissolved, the holes shone and I saw how fragile they were, all these borders we build on, as castles in the sand, traces of a game that is no longer played. Mohammed Abualrob has written Joret Ed Dahab in Arabic on one of the paper sheets. This is the original name of the place, the part of the refugee camp in Jenin, which was destroyed in the beginning of April 2002. Mohammed grew up in Jenin and he is since February 2002 studying in Uppsala, Sweden, in the course ”Peace and Conflict”. I have made a drawing of his text. These drawings are an important part of the work. I don’t know how to write in Arabic, it means it’s not possible to understand another person’s situation, but it’s possible to imagine or feel it.

This work is exhibited at Botkyrka Konsthall, Sweden, 14th of Sept-3rd of Dec 2002
Fischer Gallery, Seattle, 11th of November-14th of December 2002
Reset Gallery Philadelphia, February-March, 2003
Edsviks Konsthall, Stockholm, March 2003
AAO Gallery, Tokyo, March 2004

Botkyrka Konsthall, Botkyrka, Sweden, 2002

Don’t be stupid

Don’t be stupid, a projection on the floor Sept-Nov 2011, Magasin 3, Stockholms Konsthall

Don’t be stupid, 1997.

Screenings: SVT “Elbyl” Ch 1 / Art & Video in Europé Heure Exquise! Stockholm Art Fair. Swedish Television Ch1 / Osnabruck Videofestival. at Botkyrka Konsthall. Don ́t be stupid in the videocompilation ”Take two” (same tour as FRESH) at: the ICA, London / Videopositive-95, Liverpool / Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff / Ikon Gallery Birmingham / Tate Gallery London / Ferens Art Gallery Hull / Open Hand Studios Reading / National Film Theatre in London / Ruskin SFA Oxford.

Don’t be stupid, a projection on the floor Sept-Nov 2011, Magasin 3, Stockholms Konsthall

Makt och maktlöshet – handling är igångsättande av kraft. Relationer består av både monolog och dialog, ibland kreativ dialog. ”Var inte dum, ägna inte kraften till annat än kreativ dialog” frestas man därför att säga, men i oförmågan, i läckaget av kraft, i handlingen som inte når fram, finns också det ofödda.

Verket Var inte dum är en reflektion över en politik som äger rum på offentlig men också privat nivå. Det avbildar ett rörelsemönster av de oförmögna eller de som inte kan hantera sin förmåga, sin makt. Att se det ofödda, det osynliga, är en förmåga som går att träna upp. Om man vill, envisas och… inte är dum.

Power and powerlessness – action is force. Relationships include both monologues and dialogues, and sometimes creative dialogue. ”Don’t be stupid, your only power lies in creative dialogue”, one is tempted to say, but our abilities fail us, we almost never reach our objectives. And there is the invisible.

The work Don’t be stupid is a reflection of the political that takes place both in public and in private. It depicts movement patterns of those who cannot handle their power. To see the invisible: it is an ability we can acquire. But only if we want. Insist. Persist. Do not be stupid.

Cecilia Parsberg

The man in the performance says:

Woman kicks man’s ass. To me it would seem more natural with the roles turned around, a man punching a woman. Then I would sympathize with the woman. I would probably see the video as an image of women’s relation to men in general. I can easily sympathize with the woman when she’s the one wearing the boxing gloves. With the woman fighting it’s so obvious to me, as a man, how lonesome her struggle is. She doesn’t let the man in.

This is not the picture of a relationship, rather it reflects the fight of a single individual.
I’ve always believed that the relationship between man and woman in our society was the concern of both. Why does it seem so clear to me in this case, that it’s all about one individual woman struggling with herself. Is this the kind of one-sided struggle that patriarchy is built to hold and maintain?
The woman spends all her energy on her fight. What happens to the man – nothing? There is no room left for him. And in our society-where is the deliverance of women made passive by someone else’s fight. Men struggling, leaving no room for women. What happens to women-nothing? Should you implode or explode?
It’s a man’s world, in which both men and women live. But society is no relationship – it’s a one-sided struggle for survival and self-development – man against nature – men against women!

Extraphonic

Extraphonic, an interactive link between Joubert Park, Johannesburg

1-2pm
Saturdays and Sundays
Joubert park
Umeå Public Bath

Extraphonic is initiated by Elin Wikstrom and Cecilia Parsberg, Sweden and is part of the Joubert Park Public Art Project 13th October to end of December 2001.

Extraphonic is a series of ongoing exchanges between two networks, one in South Africa and one in Sweden. At the same date and time, 12 persons from different locations and life situations, talk to each other on the phone. In Johannesburg the event takes place in Joubert Park, in Umea it’s winter so people meet at the Public Bath.

Extraphonic sets up an active link between the park, the public bath and local radio. Parts of the conversations will be broadcasted regularly. Bengt Strom, Vasterbotten Radio, Sweden will make weekly reports. It’s possible for people who listen to the local radio stations to call in to the Extraphonic events.

From mid-October to end of December the networks will expand. At the end 200 persons have been involved. The method is to invite 6 people in Johannesburg and 6 in Umea, they visit Extraphonic togheter with a friend. Each participator will either put a question to a person in the other network or answer one. At the next event it is instead the friend who is the one speaking on the phone and inviting a new person to the network. Since all participators (except at the first event) have attended one event before, they have had time to think about what they want to ask. But it can also happen that the first question will trigger a subject that everybody wants to know more about. Both in the park and at the indoor swimmingpool, the telephones are connected to loudspeakers so that visitors will be able to hear the conversations. It is about listening and speaking to each other, not just in the small group that one belongs to but to people one usually doesn’t socialize with.

Extraphonic 1 October 20 Extraphonic 2 October 21

Extraphonic 3 October 27 Extraphonic 4 October 28

Extraphonic 5 November 3 Extraphonic 6 November 4

Extraphonic 7 November 10 Extraphonic 8 November 11

Extraphonic 9 November 17 Extraphonic 10 November 18

Extraphonic 11 November 24 Extraphonic 12 November 25

Extraphonic 13 December 1 Extraphonic 14 December 2

Extraphonic 15 December 8 Extraphonic 16 December 9

Welcome!

Cecilia Parsberg and Elin Wikstrom, oct. 2001
Ceciliaparsberg@yahoo.com +46 (0)70 3966661 (telephone no. in RSA)
Elinhoo@yahoo.com 072-2200559 +46 (0)70 6714858


Suggestion

Suggestion, a videoinstallation shown at Schaper Sundberg Gallery in Stockholm and L.A Gallery in Umeå, Sweden 1997.

A video projector shows a super-8 film in a small black room. It’s an endless loop of a 2 min. film. The sound of a film projector is quite high and there are also a few sounds from the woman who was running the film projector when it was filmed on video.

The projection shows a woman rolling her head, but instead of that her hair spreads out, it encloses her head. The film is shown backwards.

The woman looks as if she’s in the grip of three forces: firstly the one which she’s generating herself by rolling her head, secondly the one which is the opposite to the centrifugal force (a force that strives to the center) and thirdly the one from the woman who starts the projector over and over again with a sigh.

The world’s smallest bible thrown in the biggest man-made hole


The replica of the world’s smallest bible is made by bookbinder and rastaman Jabulani Dube from Kimberley, South Africa. . (150X80 C-print, analog panorama-negative)

The piece is comprised of:
– A replica of the World´s Smallest Bible.
– A photo of the original in Stensele Church, Sweden
– An edited video (4: 33 mins) of the action, the 8th of May 2000. The bible is dropped from a light aircraft into The Big Hole in Kimberley, Cape Province, South Africa. (Click here to see the film)
– A photograph (150X80) of bookbinder Jabulani Dube with the bible in his hand

In April, 2000 when I first visited South Africa I met Jabulani Dube. He worked at a bookbindery. I asked him what it means to be a rasta and we ended up having a long discussion about religion. He also told me he grew up in Kimberley, a society founded on De Beers diamond trading (Boers) and that The Big Hole is the biggest man-made hole in the world and that it was digged by black people. I replied saying that the smallest bible in the world is in Stensele church in Sweden, I asked him if he could make a copy of this man-made book. After a long conversation we agreed that this copy of The smallest bible in the world should be unwritten because life is all about ”writing it every day in one’s actions”. He and his little daughter followed me to Kimberley. We went in a light aircraft and dropped the bible in the hole.


The Big Hole is claimed to be the largest hole excavated by hand. It has a perimeter 1,7 km, deph of No 1 shaft is 1,100 m. 22.700 metric tons of ground was excavated from The Big Hole by black labour. 14,5 millions carat of diamonds were produced during 1717-1914. The owners of The Big Hole were De Beers company (white people). The mine was active 1871-1914.


The smallest bible in the world (to the right), at Stensele church, Luleå, Sweden. (An ordinary bible to the left)

 

Published first in B A N G Magazine (S), Septemper 2000. Then in Filter magazine among others.

This piece has been shown at:
Market Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg in May 2000
BildMuseet, Umeå, Sweden, 2001
Gothenburg Filmfestival 2011 among other filmscreenings. See CV
Financing through the SIDA project Cultures in Dialogue, initiated and organized by Bild Museet, Umea, Sweden. I worked as a Guest Professor at Umea Academy of Fine Arts and in this project I was invited as a lecturer at the Fine Arts Department at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa, for two months (17 April through 1 June).

This piece was also supported by The Swedish Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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