“And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red red stuff for I am exhausted!’”
Curator León Krempel
In accordance with her oeuvre, Pereg’s work titled This Red Red Stuff investigates the notion of expediting redemption. It sheds light on this timely phenomenon in religious thought from an unprecedented angle, examining its relation to our times.
Pereg examines how inexplicable ancient Jewish laws dominate current events and merge religious fundamentalism with political agendas. She takes us on a journey through her all-consuming creative process, echoing the inherent frustration in the search and desire for redemption, as she becomes her own beast of burden.
This Red Red Stuff strays from Pereg’s documentary tactics, by combining a semi-confessional position with a scholarly one, marking a paradigmatic shift in her mode of constructing a narrative. In merging utopian mediums such as 3D-animation with documentary footage, Pereg reflects on a seemingly esoteric phenomenon, which makes the bigger picture manifest.
When Israel gained political sovereignty over the Dome of the Rock in 1967, a status quo was established according to which Israel maintained sovereignty over the site, while it was run by the Jordanian Muslim Authority. Religious national groups from the Israeli political-theological landscape challenge this status quo in their dedication to the revival of complete Jewish sovereignty over the site. This nearly impossible task, involves constructing the Third Temple as a step toward expediting the messianic age. A prerequisite to performing the required sacrificial rituals in the Temple to be, involves abiding by biblical standards of purity requiring traditional Jewish priests to be cleansed of ritual impurity caused by contact with the dead. The sole means of such purification is to sacrifice a perfect red heifer and sprinkle its ashes over the impure individual. In this sense, the red heifer is the theological key to sovereignty over the Temple Mount. There are, of course, stringent requirements for raising and locating a perfect red heifer, of which there have only been nine throughout history. As Pereg observes this committed search for a contemporary candidate for a ritually valid red cow—locating and disqualifying heifer after heifer—she herself transforms in sharing this mutual obsession with her topic of investigation.
In Genesis 25:30 it is written, “And Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red red stuff for I am exhausted!’” Esau proceeds to exchange his invaluable status as the first-born son, for a red lentil stew. In the current Israeli political landscape, Jewish movements calling for the construction of the Third Temple on the site of the Muslim Dome of the Rock, base their claims for ownership on the same status of chronological precedence—“we were here first." In appropriating the title from the historic exchange between Esau and Jacob, This Red Red Stuff references a biblical theme that remains relevant to this day, spanning a broad political spectrum worldwide.
This Red Red Stuff is the 1st part of Peregs Redemption trilogy, followed by Melt Away Before You.
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Filming and Editing: Nira Pereg
Sound Design: Nati Zeidenstadt
Cow-Clock sound design: Jesper Norda
Research assistant- Talia Krevsky
Translator and text editing - Talia Krevsky
Logging and editing assistant-Lee Barbur
Subtitles-Mika Hazan Blum, Sapir K. Leary
Animation Director-Tal Korjak
Post Production-Tal Korjak
CowClock Character animation-Boaz Zonnestein
Exhibition design- Hanan Belisha
Kunsthalle Darmstadt | Germany | July 15–August 16, 2017
Photo by photo by Gregor Schuster