B O U D I CC A : Cats, Maths, Tel Aviv

Zowie Broach Issue: Section:

I am no mathematician but I feel when you look out to the sea there is a beautiful mathematical equation at hand, facing you, confronting you.

Infinite, a universe…

and then Ray says that if you found all the answers there would be no thought.

We landed as the sun appeared, heating up Tel Aviv. A city ruled by its alley cats & similar, I guess, to many Mediterranean towns. The architecture was faded, dusty and revealed its history with a combination of the beautifully old and the older modernistic seventies, but all under threat by building work everywhere, the shiny new scrapers re-defining yet another layer.  And then those matt pastel colours in blocks, everywhere, as clothes hang to dry, all in surround sound of those cats, hissing, peeing, running, ruling the way.

Inside felt like outside and vice versa to me, especially coming from London where we had just had the most magnificent lightning storm right above our studio the day we flew and came upon Tel Aviv. We were there to install at Be’ it Ha’ir our exhibition ‘Isolated moment from a cycle’, to be shown as part of a year long study and debate around fashion, art, identity and expression.  The team headed up by Ayelet Sholonsky were great from philosopher to electrician; they all worked with our eccentricities to build in a few days our world to exchange. We had worked for the last 6-month with a technique developed by Etienne Jules Marey back in 1898.  

Israel feels like such a complicated country. Once designed around truly socialist values now seems so far at the opposite end of that scale in so many ways and yet the people that we met always spouted their absolute and heartfelt love of their country and the people within. Although there is also an exodus of the bright young things to Berlin right now and somehow, although I have only ever been to Berlin for 2 days when I sat at a restaurant bar called Port Said, I felt a similarity in the atmosphere of energized thought, debate, discovery, wanting; that sense of exploration that is not physical per se but palpable and the route through technology, of course, is one of its forerunners.

Ray’s son ran a pop-up radio bar called  ‘ Teder’ ( Frequency) somehow connected to PS– I think in recognition, in some ways,  of the pirate radio stations in London from the early nineties but with a front end…?.... but my sense was that being ‘cyber way’,  it all gives so many more dimensions and possibilities to him and his crew , as they head off to set up in Tokyo…. I felt a William Gibson sub script  / character coming on….

Sat in the shadows of the Great Synagogue, that sense of exchange and growth without the need to over monetise or be established was inspiring.  A nod to punk where everything is possible for anyone, regardless, and where with a will and a voice, people will listen and potentially join you.

If the right people stay in the country, Israel has a lot to learn from them and give to us all. On one side a boundary. On the other a drawing of poetry and maths, the sun falling, leaving stained clouds of violet and rose behind it. 

A beautiful conundrum, a mathematical moment still left in the margins to be resolved, hopefully forever.

Zowie Broach

B O U D I CC A September 2012

BOUDICCA \ Isolated moments of a cycle showed at Beit Ha’ir and from early December

‘ Fashioning the Object’ will be presented at the Tel Aviv Museum.






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