Know Hope Takes It To The Street
Recent Radio Juxtapoz Podcast guest Addam Yekutieli just completed a new series of work from his ongoing project Taking Sides. Also known as Know Hope, Yekutieli revives a concept, which began on the streets of London and then traveled to Lyon, and elevates it to spine-chilling level, right in the center of Jerusalem. "I was really excited about the opportunity because I feel it's an extremely relevant place. Jerusalem has a certain force to it. Certain energy. So it's a really interesting experience to be part of the city in the way that I have," the artist explains about a project heralded as the first public exhibition held on Israel holy sites like the Wailing Wall and Via Dolorosa.
In collaboration with the Mekudeshet Festival and prior to the September 17th Israeli election, Yekutieli channels the tension working in one of the most intense and turbulent places on the planet. "It not only feels like a melting pot, but almost like a pressure cooker." Taking Sides comes to life in a series of public interventions in which a thin white line is drawn to create a supposed border in the street. Oppositional text is added to each side in a simple visual that highlights the different perceptions people perceive for separation or exclusion.
With a mission to "examine the concept of territory and the notion of adopting a stance," as most of Yekutieli's projects do, each piece creates a pipeline for different perspectives to surface. Virtually impossible to ignore, these pavement paintings provoke passers-by who eventually react and often 'take a side'. By marking a simple line and supplying a few words, the artist creates poetry from a walk down the street.
"The texts are almost abstract, suggestive phrases that are there for the viewers to bring in their own interpretation and their own connotations, and contexts, and stories, and narratives. The city almost gives the work meaning, and gives the work context that is completely influenced by the reality of the place that it's done in." The results are scenes of love, compassion, doubt, skepticism, disagreement, anger, and open aggression. A full range of human reactions triggered by such a simple act demonstrates the emotions that fuel our strongest beliefs and perceived truths about Us and Them. –Sasha Bogojev