• Stereotomes

    Painted plastic shards, hubcap, exhaust manifold, shoe remnant, floor liner, artist's bicycle saddle, and oyster shell. 2020.

    Stereotomes is a combination of the words stereotomy, tome, and me. From the Greek, stereotomy is the art of cutting three-dimensional solids into specific shapes to be assembled into architectural forms, while a tome is a volume in a larger body of work.

    This body of work continues my investigation of Jerusalem stone as a material and as a symbol of Jewish identity in architecture. Through this material, I consider the idea of “diaspora” and how it affects my relationship to the United States and to Israel as an American Jew. What does it mean to bring this Stone, an externally facing, public symbol, and mix it with domestic & ritual objects?
  • 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.

    Taking the name from a line of spray paints by Rust-oleum, this body of work uses fake Jerusalem stone as the basis for its forms. By coating found objects with the paint, I create playful assemblage sculptures that explore the relationship of the body to the land, and the structures that we build on it.
  • 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.