In the Land of Milk and Honey 2023

29 Oct 2023 : Kree House, Woodford, The Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Performance action subtitled Reduced to Rubble, thereby fulfilling the reductionist themes of the one day exhibition and event. Provoked by the unfolding war between Israel and Hamas, I wanted to comment on disunity, on things falling apart because we don’t have the glue to hold them together. At the venue two piles of bricks and rubble provided the perfect stage. These two mounds offered an opportunity to reflect upon the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, where a will to separation prevails. This conflict between Arab and Jew, a battle between Israeli and Palestinian, is a fight over lands that are, in World terms, a minuscule tract of territory. Can you imagine, the whole Jewish world has the “right of return” to Israel? But if they did take it up, they wouldn’t fit. Israel was rightly established as a safe place for Jews following the “never again” horrors of the Holocaust. But “never again” should of course apply to all humanity. Israelis and Jews claim Israel as their birthright, their homeland, the Biblical Land of Milk and Honey, promised to Moses. But it is the Holy Land for all. Perhaps Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God, and yet they are divided. Here I combine, the incendiary, the bitter, the sweet, oil and rosemary, and I add salt as a purifying agent and as “a tangible symbol of loyalty and friendship”. Salt is also used to consecrate the sacred battleground of the Japanese Sumo Ring.

40kg salt, 2 litres milk, 2 cans evaporated milk, 1kg honey, 2 litres cooking oil, half litre lamp oil, half litre methylated spirits, rosemary sprigs, matches, costume, brown bedsheet.

Project Details
Dates 29 Oct 2023
Duration 15 minutes
Producer the 3rd Australian Biennale of Reductive Arts, Sydney
Category solo

Curated by Dr Billy Gruner, Dr Tarn McLean, Dr Mark Titmarsh & Roland Orepuk Guest Speaker: Rhonda Davis, Senior Curator Macquarie University, Sydney

Represented artists: Nuno Rodrigues de Sousa - Beata Geye- Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy - Louise Blyton - Billy Gruner - Ruark Lewis - Kvle Jenkins - Reuben Keehan - Dani Marti - Vicky Browne - lan Millis - Aaron Martin - Tarn McLean - Steve Star - Karri McPherson - Chris Osborne - Sarah Keighery - David Art Wales - Scott Redford - Antonia Sellbach - John Adair - Mark Titmarsh - Locust Jones - John Fibbens - Jan Cleveringa - Graham Davis King - Lisa McKimmie - Giles Ryder - Noah Birch - David Serisser - Sound performance: Jerel Mani

Photos: David Brazil