For Manhandled I worked with artifacts from the Rijksakademie’s historical art collection, specifically ones that depict scenes from the holy land. After claiming the artifacts I created kinetic apparatuses that give an allusion of almost destroying the original works (works that date back to the 17 century). The aesthetics of the work was defined by the negotiation between the safety regulations of treating an artifact and my desire to destroy it. This violent action was aimed at evoking the feeling that when something is being destroyed its value becomes apparent. Throw this action the work addresses the collective cultural memory of barbarism.
The term ” barbarian” has been inflicted upon different ethnical groups throughout history from Latin Greek “barbaros“ meaning ‘foreign’, the Romans referred to the Germanics as "barbarian". Now days populist descendants of the Germanics tribes have adopted the legacy of the Greek and Roman empires self attributing the set of cultural values, religious beliefs, and the highbrow position of the so called “civilized”, pointing to term” barbarians” to the Near East. Suppressing the fact that during Europe's dark ages the preservation of the Greek philosophy was retained in the Near East. Thus Barbarism is a founding concept of European identity. A concept that generates a dynamic of forcing the alien others to convert to ones own beliefs.
The The work was made in collaboration with:
Digital image and video : Yitzhak Mizrahi,
Library Collection guidance : Marietta Dirker,
Moldmaking : Anthony Seqard and Boyd de Jong.
Construction : Stephan Kuderna and Oded Rimon,
Electronics : Kees Reedij,
Print : Pieter Verweij,
Wood : Roger Cremers and Seamus Cater,
Produced in the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten 2017.