Installation Quarantine is the confinement area in airports (and marine ports), in which animals or plants are locked up for an isolation period of 40 days (the word "quarantine" is derived from the French word quarant, which means "40"). This confinement is done in order to examine whether they are carrying any diseases that can contaminate the new environment. In the past, this method was also applied to examine human immigrants as they had arrived into their new country, in order to confirm what ailments they had, and to prevent danger of infecting the local population. The option of treating the patient and rehabilitating him did not exist. Today, in quarantine zones, plants and animals that demonstrate any sign of disease are annihilated.
In a world whose circumferences have been narrowed - travelling, immigration, dispositions, displacements, foreign labor, intercultural transitions, hybridization and "in-betweeness" are the name of the game in local/national/global culture today. Following this insight, I have adopted the world of plants as a metonym for what takes place in the displacement processes -a journey of "Natural" merchandises and products - but the sub-text relates to the human community, as well.
On the one hand, the attitude of Western civilization towards plants, creates them as located and ascribed objects, scientifically classified, categorized and marked according to the best of the scientific tradition of the 19th century. On the other hand, we find hundreds of types and species of vegetation that have been "taken out of context" and constructed into "new contexts" - solving problems of shipping as well as preservation by desiccation, freezing and stuffing; processes of domestication and naturalizing attempts at improving vegetation through grafting, inbreeding, hybridizations, genetic interventions and improvement of species, thus creating vegetation species that are stronger, with new options.
In the atmosphere in which people are extremely careful when discussing the place of Man, inter-cultural inter-racial relations, there is still a desire to make various combinations, to merge mergers - and these are directly manifested in the transition to the Realm of Flora. The emotions are less extreme, but the idea and the thinking process are similar in their course and method.
An additional question that stems from the re-arranging of plants is the question of "Nature". What is "Nature" or "Natural" in the state of our lives today, and what is our process of observing the "Natural" - is the process that we experience daily - a process of classification, categorization, redesigning, industrialization, trading, marketing and consumption, making plants "useable" to human beings - is this process "Natural"? Or our experience of the "Natural" substance as a primary, direct, stimulating substance? What is the relation between "the Raw and the Cooked", between the "Natural" and "Cultural" or "Cultivated"? What do we understand from the processes of transition between civilizations, or from the hierarchical relations between cultures - "Primitivism", "Nature" and "Wild", all are contradictory to "Culture" in Western languages.
The space of the gallery turned into a kind of "Garden", where a number of families and plants categories were assembled under one roof in an attempt to create a possible texture of plants "living" together. The plants lead to several possible histories or classifications of the vegetation in Israel - the history of the plants of the Land of Israel (biblical or others), the history of the "Sabra", the history of the Eucalyptus, the history of the Citrus fruits and the history of the exotic garden plants. Each of the strata has manipulations, hybrids and physical connections - in sequels and directions that take place simultaneously in the gallery, in an attempt to erase the axis of time, the precedence or hierarchy of one species over another.
4 video films are shown on 4 monitors distributed within the gallery space:
1. "Tarzan King of Apes" (1932), "Tarzan and his Mate" (1934) - succession showing of the two classic movies with Johnny Wisemuller. 3 hours.
2. "Sabra - a Walking-video" - along Sabra fences in the Ramle-Lod area. 13 minutes.
3. "Greenhouse" - A documentary concerning foreign-workers from Thailand in agricultural greenhouses growing roses in Israel. 20 minutes.
4. Naturaliser (v.) [f] - a video film that addresses an interesting concept of European languages - naturaliser, meaning: 1. To naturalize, but also 2. To stuff (as in stuffed animal)(in french). The concept is derived from the word "Nature" and the way it functions in language bothered me. The film (approximately 6 minutes) is constructed of cinematic sections taken in the Museum of Natural History in New York; hand-silhouettes of animals, the nurturing of stuffed domestic animals in a private home, and sections from Buzzby Berkeley's movie "The Gang's All Here" (1943), which attempts to create a sense of "tropical gaiety".