Concrete Flags from Concrete Creek
by Shai Zakai from Israel
I have conceived of a reclamation plan which operates concurrently on the physical level - cleansing the stream, and on the social and spiritual level - healing people from their environmental indifference.
The quarry workers - welders, concrete bridge builders, cement-mixer drivers, foreign workers, Bedouins, moshav members, Palestinians, as well as the quarry and factory owners - all took part in the artistic creation, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I believe that transforming them into "fleeting artists" makes it possible to put issues they have never addressed before on the agenda, thus inspiring a changed state of mind, and consequently, a higher level of awareness.
The process of reclamation incorporated a local reference to a global problem - unawareness of environmental issues and ongoing pollution of streams in Israel and the world. The reclamation plan did not strive a-priori to reconvert nature to its original state; rather, it was aimed at observing the eyesore, resolving the ecological problem by means of art, and leaving traces of the eyesore for the wide public to see, so they would continue to explore the field and take responsibility.
The mode of work involved documented hikes along the stream, focusing on the sources of pollution; forming an interdisciplinary team of professionals who would follow through on the reclamation from different angles (an ecologist, botanist, hydrologist, representatives of the Ministry of the Environment, Green activists); conversations with cement-mixer drivers, those responsible for loading the pollutants on to the trucks, the dispatchers, and other factory employees. All this while, at the same time, generating an ongoing work of art spawned from the environmental eyesore and introduced as a part of the reclamation process, as a time-out for observing the daily routine of the factory and quarry and exploring the causes for the disease (pouring concrete leftovers on the roadside, contaminating the stream).
Page created on 11/12/2014 5:40:46 PM
Last edited 11/12/2014 5:40:46 PM