I took the kids to the Olympic Sculpture Park and visited Geoff McFetridge’s graphic exhibition, In the Mind. It is a cheeky, satiric view of social attitudes:
The…PACCAR Pavilion seems to perfectly suit McFetridge’s poster-based provocations. He treats the giant wall in the pavilion as an oversized bulletin board, complete with out-of-scale thumbtacks. The motifs and posters he developed for the space echo the concerns of many of the sculptures in the park, such as the relationship between man-made and natural forms, the interplay between two- and three-dimensional space, visual conundrums, and the arbitrariness of boundaries between different cultural practices.
I was struck by the Us-Them posters as a perfect encapsulation of Israeli and Palestinian attitudes toward each other. The “Us” poster shows a people in all its diversity. Every person and every detail is lovingly articulated. We know who we are. We appreciate us. We are a family.
“Them” is a dark whole. Nothing is distinguishable. We know nothing about them and can know nothing about them. They are impenetrable. The perfect enemy.
As I said, a perfect emblem of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I liked the piece you shared and your accompanying commentary.
Is this quite true though? For decades many Palestinians worked as cheap labour in Israel before mass immigration displaced their role, a generation of Palestinians grew up in and out of Israeli jails and consequently learned how to speak Hebrew – many Palestinians are bilingual speaking both Arabic and Hebrew. Palestinians also follow Israeli politics quite closely and have repeatedly indicated in surveys that the democratic (at least for Israeli Jews) nature of the Israeli state is the one facet they admire and want a future Palestinian state to emulate.