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The Patriarchs Trilogy

2012, 2015, 2018-2023 | The Cave of the Patriarch | Ibrahim Mosque, Hebron, The Occupied Territories, WEST BANK

The Patriarchs Trilogy follows the resonant biblical motif of intergenerational ‘birthright’ as it is reflected in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. The trilogy focuses on the shrine known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi (‘Sanctuary of Abraham’) and to Jews as the Cave of Machpelah (‘Cave of the Double’), commonly referred to in English as ‘Cave of the Patriarchs'.

Both Jewish and Muslim practitioners share the site through a complicated arrangement that came into being in 1967 following Israeli occupation.

The first two parts of the trilogy: ABRAHAM ABRAHAM SARAH SARAH (2012) and ISHMAEL (2015) Follow an implementation of a spatial division established in 1994 by the Israeli authorities after a Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Muslim worshipers while they were praying in the mosque. The site has been physically divided so that worshippers of each religion are strictly kept apart.

Both pieces emphasize the performative qualities of routine activities in the cave that touch upon the link between ceremony and territory, bringing forth a reality that is far from the general public’s awareness, revealing the complex way in which systems pertaining to religious belief, social norms and politics intertwine.

The Patriarchs Trilogy continues my ongoing exploration of the politicized economy of sacred spaces.

These narratives of ownership and paternal birthright form a mythic cycle of legacy and usurpation. The work's visual rhetoric focuses on contemporary ritual at the Cave to lyrically reflect on the recurrent motif of birthright in Israeli and Palestinian politics. 

ESAV,the third piece of the trilogy is in progress and hopefully will be accomplished during 2023.

Israel State Archives - 196ט

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