Dov Or Ner, Soil Exchange + Bread and War, 1973

Shortly after the 1973 War, Dov Or Ner created two actions, in both of which he utilized soldiers as a central component. In “Soil Exchange” he asked soldiers from Kibbutz Hatzor to collect soil in bags from the borders on which they were serving, and when they returned to empty the bags of soil onto the land of the kibbutz, and vice versa – bags containing soil from the kibbutz were sent with the soldiers to be scattered in the combat zones. In “Bread and War”, Or Ner traveled to Sinai following a report on an Egyptian military truck loaded with pita bread that had been abandoned during the fighting.

With help from IDF soldiers, Or Ner buried some of the pitas they found, as well a loaf of challah bread baked in an Israeli bakery that he brought with him, in the soil of Sinai. The core of the action was built around the proximity and tension between the Hebrew words for “bread” (lehem) and “war” (milhama).