The Water Falls Outside of the War

In the series The Water Falls Outside of the War, I  approach  the relations of man and territory  in the context of  the Middle-East conflict. These relations have become the moving force undrelying  recurring geo-political processes. At the same time, they represent recurrent existential attitudes throughout human history.

One form of the complicated relations between man and the land is the phenomenon of “territory in dispute”, that in the Middle-East already appears in the Bible. This is a conflict whose eruption is only apparently foreseen.  It resembles the burst of subterranean lava, always surprising us in its intensity and emotional manifestations. These eruptions are evidence to the fact that contentions of a political, ethnic and existential nature are interlaced, reinforcing each other until they become  confrontations of atavistic significance and nearly mythological dimensions.

The series of etchings that constitutes this project relates to the conflict by allusion, not through direct description. My point of departure in this work was twofold. On the one hand are photographs (taken by my cousin) of an artesian well, constructed by his grandfather at the beginning of the last century in a Polish village. My cousin traveled to Poland to retrace the footprints of his parents through the land where they were born, unknown to him.  As chance would have it, he discovered the well by means of which, with the technique of the time, his grandfather had managed to seize water that bubbled underground and channel it into a pipe. This feat survived all the disasters, wars, conflicts and destruction wrought by both man and nature.

On the other hand, the inspiration for the title of the series “The Water Falls Outside of the War” is an article by the same name that appeared in the Israeli press. . It describes how cooperation of Israelis and Palestinians on the water issue continued in the midst of the political conflict that holds the peoples of the region in its grip.

In my work, I suggest different ways of understanding the complicated and dynamic relations between different peoples sharing one territory, as well as man’s control of nature, water, so essential to life, and the flow of history in  light of the origins of the Middle-East conflict and its current manifestations.


Lihie Talmor, 2000