We are looking at a documentation of the Menashiya neighborhood as it was filmed by the poet and landscape architect Ayin Hillel (Hillel Omer) moments before its last remaining residents were evacuated in favor of the Charles Clore Park. Designed by Hillel, the park is documented fifty years later by his granddaughter Mai Omer.
In Hillel’s documentation the pleasing and naïve images show a lively and happy place a moment before it vanishes – alleys and streets, houses, birds, people strolling at leisure on the shore. Winter, rain and a blue-black sea.
What did Hillel see? Why did he document the Menashiya neighborhood? Perhaps he sensed nostalgia for a place whose fate had been determined; perhaps he sought to record the shape of the soon to disappear place. Why is Mai Omer shooting at the exact same place?
What do we see when we look closely at his films? What do we see when we look at the park? What do we see when we look at the gap between the naïve gaze and the destruction?
There are no new works in Alhayam even though we are looking at material that has never been shown. It is winter, rain and a blue-black sea; it is the desire to understand what can be done with “a history that has no monument to tear down.”
Menashiya evolved as a Jaffa neighborhood, a mixed neighborhood outside the limits of the city. The evacuation of Menashiya’s residents began in 1948 and its destruction was completed in the 1960s. The Charles Clore Park was built in its place, planned by Ayin Hillel.
Curator: Eran Eizenhamer