In 2010 Arkadi Zaides initiated a collaboration with photographer Yuval Tebol and multidisciplinary artist Daniel Landau to create the scenography for the stage performance ‘Land-Research’. On a large screen set at the back of the stage, images shot by Tebol with a panoramic camera in various locations in Israel/Palestine were altered by Landau’s graphic interventions. These minimalist black and white landscapes served as buffers between the solos of five performers enacted on stage. In 2016 the same methodology was repeated following an invitation by scenographer Jozef Wouters and his Decoratelier for the creation of the INFINI project. This time, a landscape, an altered image captured at the Turkish Greek border, stood on the bare stage, it was created along with 15 other scenographies by 15 different artists that performed on the stage of the KVS theatre in Brussels.
INFINI#1 GAZA ENVELOPE
In ‘INFINI#1 GAZA ENVELOPE’ an image shot by Yuval Tebol in 2008 captures a segment of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. It is a shot of a stockpile of security barriers used by the Israeli security forces to barricade civilian targets. The Israeli disengagement from the occupied Gaza Strip took place in 2005. In 2007, after Hamas took control of the strip, an ongoing land, air, and sea blockade was imposed on the citizens of Gaza both by Israel and Egypt. Since then Israel has de facto controlled all aspects of the life in Gaza and operations are conducted repeatedly by the Israeli army, killing thousands of Palestinians. Hamas, in return, periodically attempts to launch missiles towards Israeli settlements. The sky in Tebol's panoramic image is gradually cut out by Landau’s digital intervention leaving the barriers, blocks of bare concrete, alone in the panoramic frame. The INFINI#1 GAZA ENVELOPE video installation therefore uses the edited picture as a visual metonymy for the lethal dynamics shaping the experience of the border. This process provides a visual reflective meditation on the deadly border separating the two peoples.
INFINI #1 LESVOS
In ‘INFINI #1 LESVOS’ Tebol, Landau and Zaides documented a definite section of the European border, the coastline of the Mantamados region of Lesbos, which is the Greek island’s closest point to Turkey. In 2016, each day, approximately 1,500 migrants entered Europe through this location. The video work provides a contemplative gaze on one of the three main gateways to fortress Europe. The image of the coastline (photographed by Tebol) is fundamentally transformed (by Landau) with the use of digital effects: fragments are cut out, isolated, and framed. The distant Turkish coastline as well as the rubber dinghies previously used to carry migrants and now left on the Greek shore are delineated with a yellow dotted line and blacked out. The sea and the air have also been edited extensively. This process takes place silently, detachedly: as if the tragedies unfolding on the coast were nothing more than a problem that can be solved with the aid of digital technology.