Eiruv Line

Eiruv Line is a ‘…ritual enclosure made for the purpose of allowing activities which are normally prohibited on Shabbat (due to the prohibition of hotzaah mereshut lereshut)…’ – physically placing a defining line to mark an artificial border between the symbolic (Jewish) private and public domains. In the UK, the enclosure is made within some Jewish communities, especially Orthodox Jewish communities, but is found almost everywhere in Israel – including the crossing of depopulated and/or occupied Palestinian territories.

In Israel, its symbolism is contrasted to its actual physical appearance – a construction which is completely devoid of any considerations of conventional, and/or culturally-based, aesthetics and public-space design.

In Israel, I see this arbitrary Eiruv Line cutting through space, slicing through historical and contemporary cultures, carving out ‘the other’ by claiming, in mid-air, a conceptual border to assert jurisdiction –  a reminder to any separatist zone of exclusion. To me, it is a minimalist monument for the potential loss of human connectedness.

Against the backdrop of politicizing religion and nationalism – the Eiruv Line, for me, is an aggressive act of re-enforcing a dogmatic, nonpluralistic (binary) view of the relationship between the individual and the state.

“Eiruv Line” is a relatively new body of work – I am yet to photograph my experience with it, outside of Israel (starting with North London). With this is mind, the above contextualization may be updated, accordingly.