Finkelshtein, Marmor, Bassel, Ishay

Hebrew University of Jerusalem / Amy Hempel

Amy Hempel, The Harvest
Project by Karal Finkelshtein, Avia Marmor, Tiferet Bassel, Shiran Ishay


The story begins with a feeling of pretentiousness, which immediately forges a facade of uniformity. Going deeper into the narrative, one can perceive a disturbance created by the constant change in detail and by the superfluity of trivial information. The lies that are told are banal, useless, pointless; the differences between the two parts (the story vs. the truth) are quite meager and, essentially, insignificant exaggerations. We cannot help but wonder, why even bother lying? The reader’s eyes dart back and forth between the versions, comparing and weighing the two accounts, trying to make sense of the inconsistencies and premeditated distortions.

An accident lies at the heart of the story and is the trauma that prevents a coherent and meaningful story from being told. The story is infused with a perpetual sense of catastrophe, both on the personal and collective level; the intimate tragedy of the past (car accident, interrupted romance, appearance) lingers in her body and is crushed by the outer world’s threatening forces (widescreen TV, Jonestown, sharks).

With this understanding of the story, we built a structure divided by a deep crack. The facade’s wall is transparent. When approaching the building, it is initially perceived as whole and ordinary looking. Only after entering the building, the crack appears. Inside, there are slight disturbances within the floor plan, making the floor and the stairs asymmetric. The irregular height of the steps and levels is not drastic enough to generate real drama, yet it steadily effaces the initial sense of harmony. The walls defining the crack are transparent, drawing our gaze back and forth between the entrance, the opposite wall and the stairs. The building stands on a slope and the entrance is located on the top. Walking in the building, ascending and descending its levels, the slope slowly reveals itself just beyond the sheer walls. The rear of the bottom floor is underground and through its translucent floor mass amounts of soil can be seen, blurring the boundaries between inside and outside and questioning the solidness of the whole construction.