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David Opp
Exhibition in Public Space
The project by David Opp connects the memoirs of Yosef Eliyahu Chelouche, “Reminiscences of My Life,” published in 1931, with new interactive technology. Chelouche, a native of Jaffa, was among the founders of Tel Aviv and the owner of the celebrated tile manufacture, Chelouche Frères, in Neve Tzedek. Jacques [pushi] Chelouche, who is lke the artist, a descendent of Chelouche, reads selected passages from the book where the author comments on Arab-Jewish relations at the time. The taped audio is played in a space fitted with flickering led fixtures, arranged in pattern that recalls ornamentations found on the factory’s tiles.
An interactive piece, the lights in the space turn on and off according to the location of visitors, creating a tension between an advanced technology and Oppenheim’s reading voice, which attempt to be as faithful as possible to the antiquated language of Chelouche’s account. The blinding effect adds to the visitor’s disorientation, making it difficult to place Chelouche’s words into context when he speaks of the “the good relations that have existed between us and our Arab neighbors for decades, until the arrival of the British ‘redeemers’ of our land.”