Artist: Achia Anzi, video - Chana and Achia Anzi
Curator: Avshalom Suliman
The project “Firmament” sketches out the inter-generational watershed line of my family and attempts to mark more general social transformations through deconstructing and reconstructing my grandparents’ house. The installations and the video explore the changing relations between culture and architecture, the individual and her/his surroundings, a person and her/his place.
A few months after emigrating from Manakhah (Yemen) to the absorption center in Rosh Ha’Ayin, my grandparents moved to a shed in a transit camp (Ma’abarah) in Afula. Gradually, the Ma’abarah was transformed into a Shikun (a public housing project) and the shed was replaced by a rectangular house with a tiled roof. My grandfather built an additional section adjacent to the house, that served as a drawing room. Above the seating area he left an opening in the ceiling – in accordance with the Yemeni Jewish tradition – which served as a Sukah on Sukot. Throughout the year the subtracted part of the roof was covered with white plywood and a small tin top which protected the house from the rain.
Two years after the passing of my grandmother, the Sukah’s opening in the empty house is foregrounding the transience of a tradition that is slowly disappearing, and the tin-sheet cover which no one opens anymore seems to seal-off this long relationship between man and land, man and the sky.
Venue: Bezeq Building