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Durational performance, Jewish Museum Berlin, August 2018. Hori Izahki and Adi Liraz.Jerusalem.Berlin.History.Identity.Erasure. Together with Adi Liraz, I preformed a cleansing ritual against our collective identity. An identity that — in the interest of a homogenous society — overwrites divergent personal and collective histories. 

Meeting at the in-between point of void and overload, Adi and I arrive into the process of homogenization from deeply diverging backgrounds. While Adi’s family came to Israel/Palestine as Greek and Eastern European jews, my family has its origin in Iraq and Morocco. 

At the Jewish Museum Berlin we interjected a circularly structured durational performance into the ritualized consumption of German-Jewish history. This history was brought to the Middle East, to Palestine, and has brought Palestine to Berlin. To make this visible, we connected the overload of national identities and the void left by their forcefully neglected origins with the spatial scenery of the museum: the sensory overload of the “Welcome to Jerusalem” exhibition and the radical emptiness of Daniel Libeskind’s architecture.

It is not possible to completely erase an identity. Not of one’s body, not of a location, of histories, of cultures. What happens to our reflections when we try to erase parts of the space in which we are present?

„…between utopias and these quite other sites, these heterotopias, there might be a sort of mixed, joint experience, which would be the mirror. The mirror is, after all, a utopia, since it is a placeless place. In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. But it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does exist in reality, where it exerts a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over there. Starting from this gaze that is, as it were, directed toward me, from the ground of this virtual space that is on the other side of the glass, I come back toward myself; I begin again to direct my eyes toward myself and to reconstitute myself there where I am. The mirror functions as a heterotopia in this respect: it makes this place that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass at once absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to pass through this virtual point which is over there“

Michel Foucault, „Of other Spaces“

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