Effie - Amir (Israel/Belgium),
Effi & Amir (1971, ramat-gan and 1969, Haifa). Living and working together since 1999, keeping their art in a close dialogue with their life. They are currently free will exiles in Bruxelles, exploring the joys and miseries of ex-patria.
Selected exhibitions/festivals includes: Tirana Biennale, digitalartlab Holon, impakt festival, NY Video Festival, Gwangju Biennale, CAC Vilnius, Tel-Aviv Museum. Selected prizes and grants include: residency grant at the PROGR, Bern. 2004 young artists prize, Israel, zkm new-media art award-audience award 2001.
The desert both as a concept and a concrete geographical site plays a crucial role in Israeli communal identity. Since the famous 40 years of wandering through a desert as a preparation journey before entering the promised land of milk and honey, the desert occupies a significant space in Jewish collective memory as a place of transition, both dangerous and promising, sacred and scary, not compatible for actually living in, and basically quite an opposite to financially and culturally prosperous life. When the Zionist movement had put the foundations for the current Israeli state, despite its rejection of all that is traditionally "Jewish", the desert still symbolized the same romantic duality of spiritualism and death. A major component of the Zionist project was, and still is, the battle against the desert. Forestation and implantation projects are part of controlling the desert, of disarming it from its deadening features.
The video TOPSOIL consists of 3 chapters which, together, tell a circular story.the videos show no "real life" footage but were all shot on an artificial, polystyren-made, landscape. The reality they depict is pure manipulation, an out-of-nothing creation of digital technology, a reality at the edge of hallucination.
“ Come With Me ” refers to the optical illusion common in deserts - the mirage, in this chapter the view is still dominated by the distant and the indirect encounter.
“ We Are Busy Creating A Desert, Which We Can Then Call Peace ” describes the incident of shooting down a Libyan civilian aircraft that mistakenly strayed over the Sinai desert in 1973. This chapter confronts the reality of the desert and its possible consequences.
“ A Report Of An Affected Country ” is a scientific analysis of a state fighting the desertification of its landscape, a barren effort, which encourages exactly what it aims to negate.