• American Accents

    1. Slump
    Painted unfired clay, painted MDF board, painted windshield shade. 2019.

    2. Hoop
    Painted metal furniture hoop, vinyl floor tile, stone from Jerusalem, & “Gilded Israeli Coin” worth ₪ 0.10. 2019.

    3. After Stephanie
    Painted plastic flowers, vinyl floor tile, painted rubber mesh, painted plastic ashtray, painted MDF board, painted slippers. 2019.
  • Take Comfort in the Silence

    Speaker as pendulum, 6:53 min. audio, loop. 2019.

    Take Comfort in the Silence is an installation using a speaker as a pendulum swinging in the center of the gallery. The movement of the speaker creates a mini-Doppler effect which distorts and modulates the sound in real time: an edited recording of the Jewish song “Nachamu Ami” (comfort [to] my people). As the song progresses, the melody gradually gives way to more and more silence, allowing for the background noise and resonant frequencies of the gallery to become part of the listening experience.

    Equal parts elegy and consolation, this work is a meditation on memory and grief. “Nachamu Ami” is traditionally chanted as a communal message of hope and comfort after the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av (known as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar). As the song plays the sound of the voices becomes recognizable, only to be distorted by the next swing of the pendulum: familiar yet unplaceable.
  • When the Legs Are Up, Everything is Calm

    IKEA FROSTA Components, spackle, spray paint. 2018.

    Jerusalem stone is a name for various types of pale limestone used in building since ancient times, common in and around the city of Jerusalem —those distinctive rectangular blocks that give the Old City its ancient feel. However, the stone has become a symbol of control, visually enforcing the boundaries of the city and allowing for newly annexed neighborhoods to appear as being part of the same lineage as the historic city center, miles away. To this end, a 1968 Israeli mandate requires all new buildings in the city of Jerusalem to be faced with the stone, because, according to the city planners, it carries “emotional messages that stimulate other sensations embedded in our collective memory.”

    This emotional message extends far beyond the city of and its surrounding suburbs. The various forms of the stone are often employed abroad in Jewish buildings as a symbol of Jewish identity. Contemporary synagogue design frequently employs Jerusalem stone to simulate the Western Wall, or to serve as a backdrop on the Bimah.

    In "When the Legs Are Up, Everything is Calm," Liam Ze’ev O’Connor presents new sculptures, reconfigured Ikea furniture coated in artificial Jerusalem stone. Jerusalem stone has become a symbol of Jewish identity, but it is an externally facing, public identity. These sculptures explore what it means to bring that symbol into the interior of a home: The stone, intended for outside use, is reassembled and recombined with the familiar shapes of the furniture, meant for intimate, personal use. The works in this show attempt to construct a personal Jewish identity from the materials and symbols available within a very shallow form of Zionism and O’Connor’s own American, consumerist diaspora.
  • not a line a shadow

    45 graphite drawings on sketch paper. 2018.
    "not a line a shadow" @ H Space, Cleveland.
    Through graphite drawings, folded paper sculptures, and textiles, these works examine the architectures of two highly militarized and contentious border zones: the US-Mexico Border, and the Israel-Palestine Border. In particular, the works explore how these two borders, thousands of miles apart, are beginning more and more to resemble each other: desert sands pockmarked with lines of brutal concrete and metal, and ever-growing membranes of surveillance made visible through mobile camera towers and observation drones. Moreover, Israeli security firms are being hired as contractors to develop new border technologies on a global scale, especially on the US-Mexico Border. These borders are not just lines on a map, rather they are as Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman describes them, “deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories,” and spaces “where distinctions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ cannot be clearly marked.”
  • security blankets

    Inkjet prints on sateen, broadcloth, thread, batting. 2018.
    San Ysidro I, San Ysidro II, Qalandia I, Qalandia II.
    "not a line a shadow" @ H Space, Cleveland.
    Through graphite drawings, folded paper sculptures, and textiles, these works examine the architectures of two highly militarized and contentious border zones: the US-Mexico Border, and the Israel-Palestine Border. In particular, the works explore how these two borders, thousands of miles apart, are beginning more and more to resemble each other: desert sands pockmarked with lines of brutal concrete and metal, and ever-growing membranes of surveillance made visible through mobile camera towers and observation drones. Moreover, Israeli security firms are being hired as contractors to develop new border technologies on a global scale, especially on the US-Mexico Border. These borders are not just lines on a map, rather they are as Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman describes them, “deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories,” and spaces “where distinctions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ cannot be clearly marked.”
  • pounced land [hitnachliot]

    Tripods, mdf, laserjet prints on cardstock. 2018.  
    "not a line a shadow" @ H Space, Cleveland.
    Through graphite drawings, folded paper sculptures, and textiles, these works examine the architectures of two highly militarized and contentious border zones: the US-Mexico Border, and the Israel-Palestine Border. In particular, the works explore how these two borders, thousands of miles apart, are beginning more and more to resemble each other: desert sands pockmarked with lines of brutal concrete and metal, and ever-growing membranes of surveillance made visible through mobile camera towers and observation drones. Moreover, Israeli security firms are being hired as contractors to develop new border technologies on a global scale, especially on the US-Mexico Border. These borders are not just lines on a map, rather they are as Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman describes them, “deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories,” and spaces “where distinctions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ cannot be clearly marked.”
  • Dysphoric Landscape (Bethlehem)

    Archival Inkjet print. 2017.

    The Möbius strip is a surface with only one side (when embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space), has only one boundary, and has the mathematical property of being unorientable.
  • 5 landscapes that Israel has named weapons after

    5  graphite drawings on cold press watercolor paper, 42" x 80."5 graphite drawings on acid-free drawing paper, 4.5" x 4.5." 5 xerox prints on “Natural Executive Paper,” 8.5” x 11.” 2017.

    A series of panoramic graphite landscape drawings, smaller studies of the weapons themselves, and documents tracking the governments that use them. The precision of the smaller weapon drawings invites increased scrutiny from the viewer, while the larger landscapes, though tied to specific place, are abstracted through looser mark making. 
  • City of Peace

    HD video made from satellite images of 38 locations named Jerusalem, 18:00 min. Stereo sound. 2017.

    In Jewish thought, there are two Jerusalems: “Yerushalayim shel Maala” – the Heavenly, or spiritual, Jerusalem, and “Yerushalayim shel Mata” – the earth-bound, physical city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem can only ever be fully understood when both its heavenly and earthly characteristics are considered together. For many Jews in the diaspora, Jerusalem is at the core of spiritual life and the contentious center of political discourse. The word diaspora marks internal loss because that homeland, the distant “center” of the community, feels less and less like home, orbiting a center that no longer exists.

    There are at least 38 different locations peppered throughout the world named Jerusalem, most of which were named by Christian settlers. City of Peace looks at these earthly Jerusalems from the heavens, slowly rotating above each one while searching for traces of the divine. They dissolve into one another against a soundscape sourced from various pop songs that mention Jerusalem, switching in tone from meditative, to playful, to plaintive, and at times hypnotic.
  • Hollow Land

    SD Video, silent. 2:01 min. Animation made from screenshots. 2016.

    “Hollow Land" is a black and white video created from screenshots sourced from a distorted PDF copy of Eyal Weizman’s book of the same name, which investigates the ways that the state of Israel employs architecture in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The screenshots are photos, diagrams, and maps, which show the present reality and speculative solutions to the occupation. The video loops these images so that they appear fragmented; collapsing the present moment with future plans and layered histories into flashes of an abstract landscape.
  • American Independence Park

    HD video, 2:34 min. Stereo sound. 2016.

    This video layers historical images of a recreational forest preserve in Israel to explore how landscapes contain memories. American Independence Park, some 15 miles west of Jerusalem was developed in 1976, the year of the American Bicentennial, to "celebrate the relationship between the two freedom-loving countries, [of] Israel and the US." Since 1948, the State of Israel has planted forests over the ruins of evacuated Arab towns. Underneath the trees of American Independence Park, are the ruins of the Palestinian villages of Bayt 'Itab, Dayr Aban, Dayr Al-Hawa, Jarash, Khirbat al-Tannur, and Ala’ar. These villages were captured in October, 1948.
  • Broken Sky

    Installation with greased laserjet print of Iron Dome rocket, drywall construction, and clamp light. 2015.

    During the summer 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, 4,564 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel and the Israel Defense Forces attacked some 5,263 targets in Gaza. The Iron Dome is an Israeli missile defense system designed to intercept the rockets shot over civilian areas. When the rockets are intercepted you can feel the earth shake from the explosion overhead. It feels like the sky is breaking.

    In Tel Aviv that summer, I was getting coffee when there was a red alert. After the boom, we went outside where everybody was taking pictures of the small drop of cloud on the blue sky.
  • Shamayim (there are waters)

    Single channel video installation, drywall, wood, & 2 tons of sand. 1 hour loop. Stereo sound. 2015.

    In "Shamayim (there are waters)", the Pacific Ocean rotates along the horizon, exchanging sky for sea and blue for blue, in reference to Genesis 1:6, where “G-d said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water.’” In Hebrew the word for sky/heaven is "shamayim" which breaks apart to form the two words sham (there) and mayim (waters). In this installation, the roar of the ocean transforms and becomes the explosion of rockets and the rending of earth.
  • Pillar of Cloud

    Single channel video projected on suspended plexiglass. 2:34min. Silent. 2015.

    Pillar of Cloud is a looping video, sourced from the internet, that shows rockets being deployed between Israel and Gaza. These clips become raw material that I have edited so that the endless explosions begin to look like clouds. The title is taken both from the Israeli name for a 2012 military operation against Hamas, as well as from the book of Exodus, where a divine Pillar of Cloud guides the Israelites through the desert. I look at these "clouds," created from violence, and wonder if they are a perverse man-made recreation of the divine.
  • Parade

    Split screen single channel video projected onto two walls. 8:15min, loop. Stereo sound. 2015.

    Parade is a split screen video that manipulates and juxtaposes footage taken from youtube to show examine the ways that Israelis and Palestinians are represented in video, both in the public domain and online. It explores the ways these two cultures and their respective narratives run parallel, the moments where they overlap, and the moments that have no comparison. Beginning with imagery familiar to the standard narrative of the conflict, the video switches from scenes of protest, celebration, weddings, dancing, motorcycles and masculine posturing, until finally the landscape devolves into pulsing squares of color.
  • Veil

    Greased laserjet print, rock, chunk of marble, and painted drywall. 2015.
  • Magen David (Star of David)

    Archival inkjet print. 2014.