Say Why You Are Here / Sag Warum Di Hier Bist

Dual channel installation in Hallein, Austria, a former satellite labor and displaced person camp outside Dachau. In this project, I constructed an “eruv” – a ritual perimeter made from string and traditionally demarcates Jewish neighborhoods according to Sabbath law. This boundary line followed the perimeter of the village and was projected on east and west facing screens of an atelier in the local salt mine. Text in both English and German was provided for the audience articulating my attempt at re-Judaizing this rural village in lower Austria in relation to my own family history and new expressions of Jewish diaspora and rootlessness.

This projects lifts the medieval German (Lutheran) / Latin positing, Dic Cur Hic, “Say, when asked, why you are here.” I found this both at the heart of Libeniz’s moral order (define your situation) and in the correspondence between Walter Benjamin and the German scholar of Jewish mysticism, Gershom Scholem. “Here” for me was the transitive position of the Semitic other, the encountering of a stranger.

2 Channel Video installation / performance, 2009

Credits
A Video Installation by Yoni Goldstein
Guidance: Anna Konik, Clemens Kowalski, Ahmad Habash, Steven Matthewson, Mareika Weber
Production: Kamil Malinowsky, Zora Rux, Kevjn Kelly, Beste Erener, Hanna Hofsteatter
2009 Internationalen Sommerakademie Für Bildende Kunst in Salzburg