STAIRWAY is the continuation of an installation language which I have developed and created in my previous installations in recent years, namely: ‘Safari’ and ‘Landscape with Rain’.{2} These installations were built in accordance with the artistic space (a white cube), and changed it beyond recognition - total set- designs which create a perfect disorientation: stage constructions are built over the floor, walls are put up, the ceiling is lowered, etc. The STAIRWAY’ installation, follows my previous proposals (‘The Kayak School’ and ‘A School for Terrorism’), which have not been executed yet. 

STAIRWAY refers to an urban environment, reconstructs and creates anew, a Tel-Aviv residential building of three floors. The viewer’s experience takes place in the two first floors only. Behind the building is hidden and at the same time is revealed, a dark back yard surrounded by facades of buildings with balconies, windows, a soil with puddles and a construction site with scaffoldings rising to a height of some 10m.


The STAIRWAY is an allusion to a modern architectural style, and yet is somewhat connected to the style of Israel’s local housing projects in the country’s early days. These two typical styles are common to the local construction history. This is a summarized experience with a missing element. The viewer is guided and stays within a minimalistic labyrinth, reminding us an architectural model. The disposition and the characterization do not contain realistic details like: aging, soot, mold, pipes etc., but investigate the utopist conceptual archetype. At the same time, the construction is characterized by incitement, decomposition, absent of logic and inconsistency. The model has no practical purpose. The place is familiar and yet foreign - alienated. One does not deal with a real or concrete place; the installation is based on reproduction and incitement, which give us a feeling of disorientation and confusion.


Time in STAIRWAY, is allegorical, dreamlike. The climate is cold, it is night, and rain has just stopped from falling. Light rising from the apartments, is dimmed; large parts of the building are dark.

The installation rests on the architectural space and connects by way of expansion and extension, to the area existing outside of it. The viewer starts the journey in the given hall and exists into the installation’s continuation, without being aware that he is actually already in the real exterior- that he is actually part of the installation. This act is enabled by building a temporary studio, a box, inside of which is built the artificial yard and the structures. The installation is built within a ‘box’: a construction that contains part of the inside and the outside simultaneously. This ‘Super-Box’, is modular, temporary, made of scaffoldings, black cloth, a stage and a ceiling.


In an empty hall are posted artificial columns of a building - they support a lowered ceiling. At the far end of the hall, we see an entrance to a stairway. The entrance is composed of a door, a large show window, anonymous mail-boxes, an elevator, a narrow stairway and one neon light. Climbing the stairs leads to the first floor and to doors that look like steel security doors. Between them one sees a closed locked window. On the second floor, a wide-opened window reveals a view of darkened apartments with balconies and windows. The buildings are very close to the window. The stairway is narrow, claustrophobic.


The stairway offers the viewer an encounter with a known space - with home… On the other hand, it provokes a feeling of discomfort, of artificiality, anxiety, suffocation, a living dead. This is an encounter with a space deviated from its original. The foreignness this environment provokes, results from the connection between the invented and the existent. Estrangement and terror are experienced at the same time. In other words, it is a place where the body is abandoned in it, unprotected… danger lurks in it. {3}


The stairway is the entrance leading towards the house. It is a public place. An allusion to highlights of modern architecture, that with time, after the apartments have been renovated, then annihilated and replaced, the stairways were left as the last remnants, signals of lost glory.


{1} ‘STAIRWAY’ is a proposal for an installation which is divided into two different plans: ‘STAIRCASE I’ — see specifically ‘STAIRWAY II’ — is a reduced version of ‘STAIRWAY II’ — it is  actually a construction within the artistic space only (the White Cube), and it does not include the extension to the outside and the physical experience embodied in the first proposal. This proposal describes a vestibule, a show window which behind it one sees a stairway — one that is an exact copy of a Tel-Avivian stairway. This proposal emphasizes the visual and the optical illusion. In ‘STAIRCASE II’, the viewer is not invited inside - into the architectural experience - the physical experience, but remains in his phantasmagorical experience of the eye.


{2}  ‘Helena’ 2001, Tel-Aviv Art Museum, The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion, curator: Helen Ginton.