Nahalal – the agricultural community that symbolizes the golden age of Zionism and the pioneering spirit of the 1920s – is represented in this work by means of a synthetic lawn and cheap office carpeting. Having been transplanted into the museum space, this agricultural landscape – which emblematizes the miracle of redeeming the land – is transformed into a perfect modular circle in a range of greens, yellows and browns.
Among Israeli myths, that of Nahalal is synonymous with Jewish agricultural labor in the land of Israel, the fulfillment of the Zionist dream and its rootedness in the rural landscape. Weinstein’s strategy of representing this place in the form of a puzzle is intended to raise social and political questions, which undermine the immediate associations of this ever-so-familiar image. The fertile and life-filled natural landscape becomes a barren, synthetic and domesticated surface, which can be disassembled and reassembled at will. The glory of modern agriculture, the utopian domain created by the Israeli “salt of the earth”, is transformed into a disassembled children’s game.
This installation, which was created following Weinstein’s monumental work Valley of Jezreel (2002), is emblematic of this artist’s work; it bespeaks a sensitivity to material and space; a preoccupation with surfaces created by means of lowly synthetic materials; the manipulation of camouflage elements, substitutes and artificial resemblances; and the de-contextualization of hackneyed concepts and images, which infuses them with new meaning.