05/11/2016 — 01/01/2017
Photo Museum Rotterdam

R&D project: The Dutch Volunteers

Got in 2013 Gil & Moti pledged an R&D contribution for their project The Dutch Volunteers. From November 5 2016 to January 1 2017 presents it Dutch Photo Museum this project. On Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 15:00 PM, Gil & Moti will open the exhibition with a performance.

For this project, the duo volunteered for an Israeli settlement and for Palestinians in the West Bank. To be allowed to work as a volunteer in both areas, the artists made a radical decision: they gave up their Israeli nationality to become Dutch. With the newly acquired nationality the possibility arose to visit both sides, something that is impossible with an Israeli passport. In both Israel and Palestine, they did volunteer work and had informal conversations with their hosts and women. With the smartphone they made many video recordings and photos of it. This work has resulted in a spatial installation with video, photography and sculptures, in which a physical as well as symbolic separation is made between two worlds.

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Gil & Moti spent some time in the West Bank to gain a better understanding of what it's like to live in a war zone. In the Jewish settlement they helped build an ecological home for the Jewish Ilan. This house is in a controversial place, without an official building permit. In Palestine, they helped build the new home of Eyad, whose former home had been destroyed by the Israeli army. Partly through volunteer work, Gil & Moti gained a better understanding of Palestinian life - which is characterized by the limited freedom of movement - on the one hand and the conviction of the Jewish settlers on the other. These experiences have prompted an artistic and philosophical analysis of the concept of 'home': when is a house a fundamental human device and when does it project an ideology? When does it show power and when does it provide shelter? In a spatial video installation the conversations with various people from the Jewish and Palestinian community about apartheid, freedom, violence, economy, survival and dreams are shown. A physical separation in the installation emphasizes the way in which these communities live side by side.

Also read the interview with Gil & Moti on our blog.



The Dutch Volunteers was made possible in part with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund and an R&D contribution from CBK Rotterdam.