Baladia Future City
2011 – 2015
41 photos on paper and model (2011), video, 46’40 ” (2015)
“As in all real cities, we have constructed mosques, a kasbah and even a refugee camp” Arick Moré, lieutenant colonel of the Israel Defense Forces
A project about Baladia City National Urban Training Center. Also known as the nickname “Chicago”, Baladia is a center for military training located near the military base of Tze’elim, in the Negev desert in the south of Israel. The center is used by the Israel Defense Forces to plan wars in urban areas of Gaza, Cisjordan, Lebanon and Syria. The installations, that were funded to a large extent by military help from the USA, compose a model of a city of 7,4 sq km. They consist of 1.100 basic modules that can be reconfigured by the planners of military missions, in order to represent specific Arab cities.
The installation Baladia Ciutat Futura, is a display and documentary archive that piles up images, most of them produced by soldiers of the IDF and found on the Internet, You Tube and Facebook, and a model of the city recreated from photographs of Google Earth.
In 2015, it’s joined the project a recorded video in Tel Aviv, in which three soldiers of the Israeli army in reserve explain their experience in Baladia City.
The project aims at exploring the paradoxes between architectural trends developed in Israel since the 70s as an attempt to provide the architecture with “local identity” –by appropriating the Palestinian imaginary– and the “international style” developed during the first decades of the new state, and their most dystopian deviation: the simulated city of Baladia City.
Curator: Maral Mikirditsian
Model maker: Oriol Poch
Acknowledgements: Achiya Schatz, Avner Gvaryahu, Shay Davidovich, Breaking the Silence, Miki Kratsman, Nirith Nelson, Martí Peran.
*The piece belongs to the MACBA Collection.
Des de l’interstici
03.11.11 – 23.12.11
Inauguració/Inauguración/Opening: 3.11.11, 20.00h
Centre Cívic Can Felipa
C.Pallars 277, 08005 Barcelona
Amb la participació de/Con la participación de/With the participation of:
Vartan Avakian, David Curto, Domènec, Hatem Imam, Francesc Vidal, Raed Yassin
Comissariat per/Comisariado por/Curated by: Maral Mikirditsian
Des de l’interstici és una selecció de projectes que ens proposen un apropament a la regió del Pròxim Orient; un territori que en el nostre imaginari, conscientment o inconscientment, està abocat a una lectura dirigida i fixada. L’exposició aplega tres artistes de Catalunya i tres artistes del Líban amb la intenció de mostrar i també contraposar les diverses mirades, percepcions i relacions que cadascú dels artistes ha establert amb aquesta regió.
Des de l’interstici es una selección de proyectos que nos proponen un acercamiento a la región del Próximo Oriente; un territorio que en nuestro imaginario, consciente o inconscientemente, está abocado a una lectura dirigida y fijada. La exposición agrupa tres artistas de Cataluña y tres artistas del Líbano con la intención de mostrar y también contraponer las diversas miradas, percepciones y relaciones que cada uno de los artistas ha establecido con esta región.
Des de l’interstici is a selection of projects that tackle a multitude of approaches to a space of conflict, in this case, the region of the Middle East; a space that consciously or unconsciously in our imaginary is bound to a somewhat directed and fixed reading. The exhibition joins three artists from Catalonia and three artists from Lebanon, with the intention to bring together and also put in contrast the various perceptions and relationships the artists have built with the region, manifested on different scales ranging from the most intimate to the very distant.