On the 28th April, Lazarides will be opening its Spring show It Took Me Till Now to Find You by Addam Yekutieli. The exhibition will touch on a very sensitive subject; the Segregation wall between Palestine and Israel. However, the big difference between this show and many other politically orientated shows is that the story will be told by the people directly involved in the conflict.
With such a touching subject and idea behind the project we had to grab Addam for a chat the second he touched down in London, to find out more about his art, and more importantly more about the feelings he wants to provoke within the viewer…
Addam, you've been an artist at Lazarides for a long time now, but we've never actually asked - why did you become an artist?
I never intended on becoming an artist, there was never a point where I started to make art, it was something that I always did. It was always kind of surrounding me, so it was never really a decision. I don't mean this in a romantic way but it was just a way of observing the world, and interacting with it.
What's your favourite thing about being an artist then?
I think one of the aspect's that I like about making art is being able to interact with my environment. I think for me there's not that big of a difference between an artist and someone that isn't an artist, the only difference is that an artist supposedly creates metaphors in a conscious way. However, I think that the strongest metaphors are happening around us all the time, for everybody to see.
So, what's the most exciting thing about this exhibition?
With this exhibition, the whole process has been very different…
In what way?
Well, usually I try to portray or understand a political or social situation in this metaphorical and emotional aspect, or observe from this universal place, but with this show I'm really focussing on a very specific conflict. Whereas in other exhibitions or projects I would be focusing on the idea of a flag as opposed to the flag itself, or a wall as opposed to the specific wall itself, in this case the segregation wall that stands between Israel and Palestine.
It's not the easiest subject you've picked up on… Is there a particular message you're trying to get across within the exhibition?
I guess the message is not a deliberate or distinct one. I'm attempting to portray the wall as a shared reality, something that is shared by the people that live on both sides.
So, in a way to try and show it's affecting both sides without there being judgement on just one side?
It was really important for me to portray this from a more personal and emotional place, which is why I wanted to use - for the basis of this exhibition - letters written by Israelis and Palestinians, from all different background, this very eclectic collection. I didn't want it to be people that are aligned with my personal political views or outlook so we have you know, right wing and left wing, settles, refugees, secular, religious, bereaved parents, all types of people from different walks of life.
It's nice to hear that this show will be telling these untold stories. It kind of ties in with our final question - what would you like visitors to take away from this exhibition?
I think while I do have my own personal political outlook, or even agenda, I'm trying to put that to one side and just show the emotional complexity of these things. I think if asked about the conflict itself a lot of people will say 'I don't know, oh I'm not a political person. I don't know about the Israeli Palestinian conflict'… But this exhibition is showing the emotional side of the conflict, everyone understands what it feels like to be jealous, what it feels like to be heartbroken, what it feels like to feel grudged, and I think these are things that everyone can relate to, these are things that kind of compose these larger, more complex issues.
It's going to be a great exhibition, we're glad to be a part of it.
The exhibition runs from 28th April 2017 to 10th June 2017
For information on the artwork or the artist please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday - Saturday 11am-7pm. Admission is free
Address: 11 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HR
Phone: +44 (0) 207 636 5443
Closest tube stations:
Tottenham Court Road (5min walk); Goodge Street (7min walk); Oxford Street (10min walk)