Noga Or Yam is an artist, curator, and co-organizer of the BUSH collective – a collective founded in Tel Aviv in 2015 by a group of artists and activists who are committed to the promotion of queer, feminist culture. In addition to gender and feminism, the artists also consider the issues of public space.
“Being a young queer woman, my sense of home in Israel, and even in Tel Aviv, was always somewhat lacking. Enforced isolation has hit the LGBTQ community hard, with many of its members reliant in a lot of ways on the public space for a sense of community, belonging, and freedom. I feel more fear and isolation around me, and I am concerned by ominous political processes that are unfolding.”
In her conceptual work, Noga Or Yam uses chapter headings from Carl von Clausewitz‘s book On War, considered the bible of modern warfare. For the artist, it also reflects Israel’s war-torn reality. Or Yam shows also large format black-and-white photos of a cactus plant infested with the cochineal scale insect – a plague that almost led to the extinction of the prickly pear cactus (Hebrew: sabra or tsabar) in Israel. These cacti were planted mainly by Arabs long before the establishment of the State of Israel. The word tsabar has also come to stand for Jews born in Israel. Or Yam links trauma and political crimes to the Zionist movement’s glorification of the tsabar, the “real” Jew born in the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel).
Foto: Shir Newman