Ella Littwitz

"And a third of the waters became wormwood"

In Situ, Ex Situ, Non Situ, 2015

Kwisatz Haderach

Installations view

Mixed media, 60x156x233 cm

Photo by Cottin Laure

 

Littwitz’s mosaic, rolled into a cylinder and placed on a shipping pallet, is inspired by the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue from the Byzantine period (508 AD) found in Gaza in 1965. Using the same materials present in the synagogue floor, Littwitz has created a mosaic of her own depicting the motifs of a lion and of a bird in a cage found in the original mosaic, which traditionally symbolize the hunter and his trap. When Israel captured the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War, the mosaic was transferred to the Museum of the Good Samaritan, in the West Bank, where it is now on display. The method of extracting and transporting a mosaic involves adhering the mosaic to a sheet of cloth, and rolling the fabric with the mosaic attached to it into a cylinder, separating it from its foundation. Littwitz has prepared her mosaic for transport in the same fashion, displaying it as if in a state of transit and questioning the typically unseen process of extraction, transportation and reconstruction in new contexts that are deemed necessary in efforts to preserve and protect artifacts which themselves are frozen in time.

 

Harlan Levey