Jeremy Hutchison

The Road to Jerusalem, 2011

A tourist attempts to ride a bicycle from Ramallah to Jerusalem. This unfortunate journey is interrupted by a concrete wall. His bicycle is cut, flipped and welded back together. He attempts to transport it out of the country.

This project takes its title from a novel about medieval European crusaders in the Middle East. Comprising video, sculpture and text, this new installation exmaines the posi- tion of a white English tourist amidst the turmoil of the West Bank, idiotically unconscious of the mechanisms of a militarised state.

Throughout Palestine, a network of walls and checkpoints ensures that Israeli sovereignty is articulated in the state’s ability to block movement across its boundaries. Foreigners may be stopped and detained without explanation. Meanwhile, Internationals (tourists, business- men) may pass freely through Israel, blind to this apparatus of cultural apartheid.

The Israeli-Palestine separation barrier is a nine-metre high concrete wall. It divides the Palestinian territories from the rest of Israel. In the town of Bir Naballa, this wall was built directly across the road, like a prop in a slapstick comedy. It split the local community in two, making it impossible for some families to see one another. This busy commercial hub on the road between Ramallah and Jerusalem became an instant wasteland.

Commissioned by Al-Mahatta Gallery (Ramallah)

Video

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