Uprooting is a common theme in this part of the world: the Jewish Torah is compared to being a Tree of Life, and people who live in these parts are constantly struggling over land rights, and legitimizing why certain people should or shouldn’t settle here or there.
Green Prophet is not going to enter the political debate, but just offer Ran Morin’s sculpture as food for thought. Morin is an Israeli environmental artist whose works appear around the country.
He is most well-known, perhaps, for the 1993 Jaffa-based sculpture “Oranger Suspendu,” which is pictured above. We love it.
I found him once contemplating at the Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem. A pillar of quiet in a busy city of contradictions.
Ran Morin, whose work has been copied as burial runs by Italian designers, according to him in personal conversation (see Capsula Mondi) or also has built installations at the archeology site Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem, and has created an artist monument/sanctuary around a Moslem holy tree, the Cherub Tree of Isawyia.
The sacred Charub tree of Isawyia is the main symbolic relic of the village. Christian tradition claims that Jesus (Isa in Arabic) sat underneath this tree with his disciples. Moslems maintain that the tree was the meeting place of Saladin’s generals (1187), one of which was named Elmuadem Isa – hence Isa-wyia. The tree is believed to posses supernatural powers and can fulfill wishes, judge between opponents and even produce rain in years of draught.
Last time we were in Jaffa, the growing “Suspendu” sculpture was in a state of repair, with its roots trying to push through the pot. He told me later on that taking care of a tree like that is endless work. And for that no matter how much people offer him he will not replicate his work of art in any city around the world, or in any hotel lobby, etc. “It’s the responsibility of taking care of a living thing.”
But according to Wikipedia Morin has used hanging trees elsewhere: another one adorns the lobby of the Dan Eilat Hotel (finished in 1995), and a hanging maple tree can be seen in London’s Regent Park (1994).
We hope it’s still there down the street from our house in Jaffa and growing, despite not being able to lay roots. How many nomads and travellers out there have felt that pain?
“Can uprooted existence, established so definitely through international economics, communication and technology produce a new, lighter genuine aesthetic?” asks Morin, in his artist’s statement on the sculpture above.”My ‘growing sculptures’ do not try to answer these questions,” he says.
“They rather show a ‘rooted – uprooted’ state while going on living, much as we do, growing into an unclear future. Maybe a hydroponic one?
We love to cover environmental artists with a green bent here on Green Prophet.
There is Shai Zakai
See Dani Machlis, photographer below.
And environment installation artist Dani Karavan
There is also Sigalit Landau below