Through colors, rhythms, and sounds, the video work and installation 5846, 5851, and 5852 vs. the Population and Immigration Authority portrays an Israeli supreme court’s decision regarding three people requesting not to be sent to the Holot Detention Facility.* Truths embedded within a given language are explored in relation to the rights of asylum seekers and immigrants in Israel as the work attempts to propose a way in which legal jargon can be translated into a visual language.
The work’s point of departure is the examination of the gap between the worlds of law and art; between translation, interpretation, and explanation; between the legal languages used by the court and the theoretical and legal research on the rights of asylum seekers and immigrants in Israel; between experts and laypeople. A new codification of a legal document is proposed through the creation of an original visual sign language; a musical interpretation; and through the voice of Mutasim A. Ali, an activist and asylum seeker himself. The work’s visual translation of legal concepts brings to mind the reading of musical notes, movement notation, or sign language.
* The Holot Detention Facility is a prison for African asylum seekers located in the south of Israel. According to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants (founded in Tel Aviv 1998), in 2017 about 35,000 asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan were living in Israel.
Hinda Weiss is a photographer and video artist based in Tel Aviv and New York. Weiss’s works are compositions of landscapes, textual realms, and found footage that are charged with ideologies and local histories. Using video and sound manipulation with digital adaptation techniques, Weiss merges places and times into non-existing, yet very familiar environments. Weiss has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Outset Contemporary Art Fund Young International Artist Award (2015), the Artport Tel Aviv Residency (2014-15), and the Young Artist Award of the Ministry of Science, Culture, and Sport (2010).
Asaf Weitzen was until recently the head of the legal department of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants – Israel’s leading organization protecting the rights of refugees, migrants, workers, and victims of human trafficking. Weitzen has lead high-profile cases preventing illegal deportations and releasing hundreds of detainees held in Israel’s immigration detention centers. He is also a leading attorney in the constitutional case of a coalition of human rights NGOs against the Israeli government’s Anti-Infiltration Law, which has resulted in three historical high court rulings.
The video was made with support of Artport Tel-Aviv and Ostrovsky Family Fund. Exhibited with the kind support of the Artis Grant Program