Emergency Exit


Monumentale Nooduitgang

Installation in "Office in Tel Aviv", January - February 2002
Installatie in "Office in Tel Aviv", Januari - Februari 2002

 "Office in Tel Aviv", a "small white cube at a ground level at the center of Tel Aviv".
January-February 2002. 

In a small room, a cube of three meters, a wall is painted on three of the walls. The room looks like a closed cell. The middle wall has a long narrow vertical opening which is covered with strong horizontal bars, like a ladder. You would think you could climb out of this space. The bars look like horizontal pillars.

On the left there is a small framed painting of a cube-form bed. On the floor there is a mattress covered with a white sheet.

About every two minutes the visitor can hear a loud shout from behind the wall, a short "hey!"

My considerations:

The ladders are intriguing me already for a long time. They are inspired by the emergency exits in the bomb shelter where I was working. They look like series of horizontal pillars. I like the rhythm of the bars. I like the associations of opening and closure, of the peeping through of sky, of the possibility of moving up and out.

The painting with its iron bars and the apparently used mattress form a contrapuntal to the ladder. They relate to sleeping and dreaming. The shout asks strongly for attention, it demands waking up and questioning where it comes from. I am intrigued by such a cry ever since I dreamed about a travel companion who disappeared into a wall inside an old villa, shortly after we crossed a border. His fading cry sounded from the wall, as if he was captured by the stones.