Cover village.s

One land two systems and platform paradise

By Malkit Shoshan and Maurizio Bortolotti

Village documents a unique encounter between two creative communities: a village of forcibly displaced people on the one hand, and a group of artists, designers and architects on the other. The context is the village of Ein Hawd, an (until recently) ‘unrecognised’ Palestinian village in Israel. It lies within viewing distance of the inhabitants’ former village, now an Israeli artist community: Ein Hod, founded by the Dada artist, Marcel Janco.

In the summer of 2008, a group of over 20 artists and architects arrived in Ein Hawd. They included Petra Blaisse, Matthijs Bouw, Yona Friedman, Dan Graham, Joseph Grima, Ali Kazma, MAP Office, Multiplicity, Tomás Saraceno and Museo Aerosolar, Debra Solomon, Berend Strik and Sharif Waked. They submerged themselves in the village’s daily life, boarding with Ein Hawd families for several weeks. During this time, the artists, architects and villagers produced wonderful projects and shared intimate conversations — and disagreements.

They reflected on their work, on the local context, and on life. The extreme conditions blurred boundaries: architects practiced activism, villagers made art works, artists made architecture and the other way around.

This account of that process, by architect Malkit Shoshan and art curator Maurizio Bortolotti, is divided into four parts. One Land Two Systems describes the role of art and architecture in the emergence of Israel and the disappearance of Palestine. It uses similar architectural tools to create an alternative vision, a masterplan for the future of the village and its first community centre. Platform Paradise describes a group show that mirrors the use of art to create a new spatial identity, while bringing together the local small community with a variety of international and global prospectives. Incidents presents a series of stories, conversations, formal talks, complaints, gossip, a wedding, and other moments of daily life. The last part is a Lexicon that provides additional context to the stories in the book.

This book portrays the extraordinary relationship between culture and history, art and architecture, and suggests how together they may lead to change.