Nikola Radić Lucati


Basalt - during our absence

is a look cast upon the land, the land, more important than life itself, more expensive than blood. It is a look I have cast tentatively, intermittently, accumulating relations hidden beneath religions and cults, shielding myself from the society I didn't fully comprehend yet. Most of the photos I have made during this period were made before I have learnt Hebrew. In Zionist discourse, my "Aliyah", (the ascent), was at least, a generation late. The society was supposed to have been fully built, jewish and ours, no explanations were needed, what was there to see is here, what is not, has never been. A practical, life-affirming domination of the present infinitive, defining the language, society and especially, geography. During my travels from center of the country toward the north, From Wadi Ara through Western Galilee and, as the ground rises, the Golan heights and the borders of Lebanon, the landscape had seemed to be more a collection of "places of special interest", than a "region of a unified country". As I kept coming back, I have begun to see that traditional array of subtle signs was being disturbed. There seemed to be a pattern, as if a handwriting was emerging, forming the landscape. The ultimate ownership of the land always had stayed with the state, and the vulnerabilities of it's given narrative were showing through the interspersed rhythm of ethnicities, ideologies and faiths in all their diversity, attacked by the new, radical ideology of israeli settlers' racism and radical islam, the new, state produced and media-managed threats. Coexistence, and the solidarity based on the real human ties society supports and lives by stands in quiet opposition, making this, in many ways an independent land. This was leading me to see this a project of approaching the "manicured plurality", by accepting the one role society had left me: An observer, recording the impact the crime of making the claim leaves on the only valid prize: The land.