until 21.10. | #1521ARTatBerlin | lorch+seidel contemporary shows from 14th September 2017 the exhibition “COTTON PLANT” by the artist Dafna Kaffeman.
“I hit the guy in the head with the crowbar and said this is for Shalhevet Paz. I hit him twice in his head and said to N: Get the gasoline. He started pouring the gasoline on the guy’s head and then gave me the bottle and I kept pouring the gasoline on the guy’s legs. I kicked him three times and said: this is for Eyal, and this is for Naftali, and this is for … I don’t remember the name of the third, maybe Gil’ad … I lit the guy with the lighter and everything was on fire.”
In June 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Palestinian terrorists. A short time later, three young Israelis kidnapped a fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy, beat him, poured gasoline on him, and set him on fire.
Kaffeman places the disturbing confession of one of the Israeli kidnappers, reprinted on paper, amid her delicate etchings of cotton plant twigs and blossoms. In Kaffeman’s prints, the pure white of the cotton wool – a plant
often associated with the exploitation of both humans and nature – becomes a sombre black, so that the long exhibition wall resembles a burnt field of cotton.
In the second part of the exhibition, Kaffeman assembles replicas of plants from Israel – twigs, blossoms, seeds – in front of white felt backgrounds that are imprinted with quotations from a guide to Israel’s flora. Each plant has its own cultural and iconographic meaning. The book was written in 1965, and when read today, its admonitions seem almost to have fallen out of time.
Kaffeman’s quiet juxtapositions of current political events and conventional lines of thought are no partisan indictments. Through their pointed emphasis, they seek instead to broaden our perspective, to steer out attention– in this instance, toward spiral of violence that is almost incomprehensible to outsiders and that, in its most extreme forms, targets innocent civilians.
“I think it makes a difference whether such incidents are forgotten, or instead remain in our memories,” Kaffeman believes.
“If you thirst for a homeland and seek shelter in its bosom, love it and live it in its mountains and valleys, its flora and fauna.”
“And if you believe in your power, commune with the plants and animals you are growing, study their properties and learn to control them and bend them to your will.”
Homeland Plants – A Survey of Their Life, Injuries and Diseases | Yavne Publishers | 1965
Vernissage: Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 07:00 – 09:00 p.m.
Exhibitionperiod: Thursday, 14th September until Saturday, 21st October 2017
Image caption: Dafna Kaffeman – COTTON PLANT – via lorch+seidel contemporary
Exhibition: Dafna Kaffeman – COTTON PLANT – via lorch+seidel contemporary | Contemporary Art – Kunst in Berlin – ART at Berlin