New Public Art Festival. Actions and assemblies around the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif by: Yael Bartana, Shasha Dothan, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Allan Kaprow, Yonatan Levy, Hed Mayner, Santiago Sierra.
Artistic Director: Omer Krieger
Producer: Hilla Shitrit
Artistic Director, Jerusalem Season Of Culture: Itay Mautner
Actions and works by: Yael Bartana, Shasha Dothan, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Allan Kaprow, Yonatan Levy, Hed Mayner, Santiago Sierra
Assemblies hosted by: journalist Sliman Al-Shafi, linguist Dr. Anwar Ben Badis, poet and scholar Prof. Haviva Pedaya, artists and burners Itamar Fallujah, Lior Peleg and Rei Dishon, botanist Dr Ori Fragman-Sapir, Director of the Palestinian Heritage Museum Khaled Khatib, spiritual mentor Yiscah Smith, architect Michael Jacobson, community activists Idit Elhasid and Samah Masrawa, theorist Dr. Noam Yuran, archeologist Prof. Rafi Greenberg, anthropologist and artist Dr. Ali Qleibo
The Temple Mount, first and foremost, has a multi-layered history of action, seeped in life and blood. The Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Jews, The Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Muslims, the Crusaders, the Ayyubids, the Mamluks, the Ottomans, the British, the Jordanians, the Israelis and the Palestinians—and others too—have staged the very finest on this mountain.
According to Jewish tradition, this is where the Binding of Isaac took place; the New Testament tells of the expulsion from here of Jesus of Nazareth; it is believed that this is the place from which the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven; this is where the Temple stood; this is where the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands; this was the site of the assassination of King Abdullah of Jordan; young boys play soccer here; and in the Byzantine period, the area was turned into a rubbish dump. And still today, here in this place—a 35-acre plateau at an altitude of 743 meters above sea level, with two domes in its center, flanked by a wall that is a remnant of destruction, and under which run tunnels and traditions through the very foundation stone of the entire world—we still witness tranquil mass prayer rituals alongside some of the most potentially explosive struggles in the Middle East.
The Under the Mountain festival, now in its fourth year, will take place in ever-widening circles around the hub of the Temple Mount. It will examine the relationships etched in a blood-soaked history, as well as the daily fabric of life on the Mount. The festival will offer a conversation that incorporates the sanctity, the history, the conflict and the mythology, together with the occupation, the beauty, the hatred, the splendor, the nationalism and the pain buried in this mountain; and it will seek to piece them all together into new combinations and understandings about this place and this time, about the potential and imaginary future.
The festival's actions and assemblies will impart narratives related to the Mount and offer performances of sanctity, ritual and mystery, together with atheistic, humanistic and universal stories and gestures. They will present structures of holiness and desires for secularization through which we can ask how—out of this cultural wealth that we share as human beings, and recognizing the differences and various identities—can we dream of a common future of justice and peace, how can we learn and unlearn the Mount and examine ways to escape the political and spiritual impasse in which it has been caught up.
To learn more about supporting the Jerusalem Season of Culture, please contact Deputy Director Karen Brunwasser at Karen@jsoc.org.il or at +972-2-6535880