A Know Hope installation

As Lois mentioned last month, a number of Israeli street artists are currently together in a show, Inside Job, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Know’s Hope‘s main contribution is an installation called A Stumbled Forest (Stockpiled Like Littered Flags). Know Hope sent over a bunch of images if A Stumbled Forest, as well as an explanation of the piece.

An accompanying text by Know Hope:

With the abundance of humbled limbs and littered flags
(How we got here, and where we are now)

Sincerely swindled, the troubles piled like broken accents
(Like stock, or others’ truths)

Burdens like trials like trying/broke-down trains
(Tugging along these two-timing traintracks, persuaded to sing/mumble this damned anthem)

We’re all too homesick and so housebroken
(Anxious like stubborn stock markets)

But in the distance
(And through these empty spaces and their signaled echoes),

A setting sun, like an allowing toll-booth, reassures us
that sand becomes mountains become monuments become sand
(Nothing can ever stay precious on a sinking ship)

and that barricades are only as decisive as we make them
(So we sway back and forth/forth and back with the motions, hoping to reach anywhere or elsewhere)

‘No homeland ever’, the tides hint; ‘No homeland ever’.

Check after the jump for more images and Know Hope’s explanation of the installation…

This installation, composed of close to one thousand entirely handmade tree stumps and trunks, dozens of flags and life size characters, all carefully rendered and positioned, spans upon the space of approximately 100 square meters and reaches the height of over 3 meters high.

The piece attempts to examine the ideas of patriotism, not exclusively in a political sense, but more as a metaphor for a human condition – the notion of being homesick, and the relieving of that same notion, by the means of personal sacrifice and compromise.

Throughout the makeshift forest built in the space, the characters are seen amongst piles of tree stumps, amputated arms and discarded flags; sometimes bound to the flagpoles reaching out helplessly to each other, carrying logs, or simply adjusting and functioning in the certain reality with which they are intertwined.

Being ‘bound’ is a recurring notion in this installation, as an analogy to a certain pact, an agreement into which one side was persuaded to take part of, and ultimately compromise and make a significant sacrifice. The installation is a certain reflection, a situation of sobering realization of past decisions, regrets and the hindsight on all these things.

This ‘sacrifice’ manifests itself by the characters forfeiting their limbs, a sign of devotion to support the flag in its upright position.

The red dots on the amputated arms correspond with the red dots on the tree stumps, signifying the notion that they were all ‘cut off’, and in a way left as waste with no significant function as initially promised or expected. These elements even seem ‘stockpiled’, as the title of the installation suggests.

The choice of the flags being white, not necessarily as a sign of surrender, but more a conscious decision of not attributing it to a certain nation or nationality relates to the reflection being universal, contemplating the devotion to ‘a flag’, not ‘the flag’.

These things raise questions regarding ones perception of a homeland, questioning its existence at all.

Photos by Know Hope