Photography, digital collage
45 x 45 cm
At the end of 2017, I was in Israel and Palestine (West Bank). Tourists filled with religious fervour clammered, pushed and shoved in a church allegedly containing the possible burial site of a man long since dead. It was Beattlemania in Jesus form. I observed a certain level of self-absorption in worshiping a pile of rocks, an altar – the devotees fanatically placing shawls, rosaries, cards, personal tokens on a sacred slab, swaying and bowing their heads in what I presume to be prayer. Rarely did they pause to see each other, be kind to each other, acknowledge each other, relish in the community around them, practice humility and patience – all those good Christian values. It was like those YouTube videos of Black Friday in a Walmart. It was bizarre. This is not to say I don’t appreciate the spiritual, divine or mystical. Far from it. It was just a strange moment in time. So many tiny details of the structure they invaded were glossed over or ignored. The details are what is most interesting to me. Who laid the stones, who put all the individual pieces of the mosaics together? Were they artists loving what they did or were they serfs forced to do ‘God’s work’. How did they transport the materials to the site? How long did it all take? How did they get the different colours? How did they make the paints and dyes? What would they think of the spectacle of selfie sticks and camera phones and crowds elbowing to get their piece of divinity? But this piece isn’t about any of that. Honestly, I just like the way it looks and how I felt while making it – it was a spontaneous fun process. But if one really wanted to dig for meaning, one could say the three tile clips represent the son, father and Holy Ghost. You could say the pixelated background represents the crowd missing the details. It wouldn’t be true, but you could say it if you wanted. Because art can be whatever you want it to be. For me, the making of the art doesn’t always have to have a grand meaning behind it. Sometimes, oftentimes, it’s more about enjoying the moment of creation and the end result provides a memory of a moment in time. In this case, where I was, how I felt and what I saw when the photograph was taken.