The New Jerusalem

Doron Altaratz

 International residency | 21 July – 13 August 2018
Exhibition | 20 - 29 September 2018


The New Jerusalem seeks to build a conceptual bridge between the city of Jerusalem (acting as a temporal-historical island) and London City Island (the physical location of arebyte gallery). By performing a 'reversed pilgrimage,' Doron seeks to critically examine the historical-political-cultural connection between the city of Jerusalem and the city of London.

Doron will be bringing to London with him, as a symbolic and performative act, several forms of travel souvenirs in the form of cultural 'artifacts.' For Doron, the spatial relocation from Jerusalem to the London gallery is a mirrored reply to the crusades invasion of the ten and eleventh century. Doron is a traveler who in response to the pilgrimage of Great Britain is performing a personal spiritual journey to the art world of London.

Using photogrammetry, sound, projection mapping and 3D printing, Doron wishes to recreate his alternate version of Jerusalem in the London island.  

Several virtual souvenirs, based on physical artifacts (original or fictional) from The city of Jerusalem and the period of the crusades will be traveling with Doron to London, where they will receive a new materialized reality.

For the residency and the following exhibition, Doron will perform several acts of creativity that will respond to the complex balance of powers between contemporary Jerusalem (represented by Doron) and the long history of relations with the British islands.

The primary source for some of the relocated artifacts are the hundreds of crosses that are engraved on the walls of the St. Helena Chapel (part of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher). These crosses are believed to be engraved by pilgrims who traveled from Europe to Jerusalem during the crusades.

Using photogrammetry and 3D printing of the St. Helena Chapel walls, Doron wishes to replicate objects that are representing the evidence and presence of European crusaders in Jerusalem. By virtually bringing the visual traces of pilgrimage to London, Doron whishes to reverse history.

Another objective is to projection-map images taken at the Chapel of St Helena on the gallery walls in London, forming an aesthetical representation of the St. Helana Chapel, yet at the same time questioning the indexical meanings of the projection vs. the original crosses of the wall. A possible creative direction of the work might be the interactive engagement of the visitors to the gallery, and the possibility to leave their mark by adding signs to the project. 

This explores both the idea of the replica, as well as documentation, truth, and accuracy as opposed to invention. Socio-political issues are raised concerning the ownership of cultural heritage and the role of colonialism in the forming of social identity.

To further the idea of creating a replica of an inanimate object Doron will use contact microphones on the church’s interior or exterior walls to record the physicalities of the building and play it back over the projections in the gallery space. Referring to the idea of “if walls could talk,” by giving an increased intimacy to the work, or more thought and feeling over aesthetics alone. There is also this idea of providing the inanimate a voice - the abundance of history within the Chapel, as well as the many people who have been through the doors, mean that recording the walls instead of the open spaces gives this sense of getting to the root or the beating-heart of the building.

Doron Altaratz is a new-media artist, educator, and academic researcher who acts in the fields of photography and new media. His creative processes take a critical view of visual language, technology, and social meanings.

His work acts within the boundaries of a changing evolutional society through and within an ongoing investigation of visual response to technological transformation, specifically within photographic practices. Frequently, original and ready-made visual elements act as aesthetic and theoretic anchor points for Doron's unique body of work.

He graduated from the Photography department of Bezalel, Jerusalem in 1997, and in 2002 he relocated to New York City to attend NYU’s graduate program of Interactive Telecommunications. Currently, Doron is a Ph.D. candidate at the Hebrew University's Communication department, researching the role of computational photography in hybrid processes of humans and algorithms

His  work was presented at venues like NY's Chelsea art museum and NYC "Synchronicity Space” gallery, Ticho House Jerusalem, The Artist House of Jerusalem, The International Photography Festival in Jaffa and more.