Drora Dominey and France Lebee-Nadav | Closeness

More than a decade after publishing their book “Everywhere: Landscape and Memory in Israel” (2002), in which they photographed and researched monuments all around Israel, the artists return to sculptor Batya Lishensky’s “Labour and Defense” monument (1937), situated at Hulda Forest over the grave of Ephraim Tchizik. The photographic series focuses on three figures: Tchizik, who was killed in the battle on Hulda in 1929; Sarah Tchizik, Ephraim’s sister and one of the casualties of the battle on Tel Hai in 1920, and a third figure over whose identity exists a disagreement. Lishensky sees it as a symbol to the unknown soldier, but some maintain that the person in question is in fact Benjamin Monter, who was killed as he protected Sarah with his body. Work on the monument began in 1929, and completed in 1937. A special committee appointed by the national institutes as well as Keren Kayemet, the workers’ Histadrut, and other donors, were all involved in its erection. It is considered, alongside the Roaring Lion monument in Tel Hai (built by Avraham Melnikov, completed in 1934), a harbinger of commemoration in the medium of monumental sculpture in the pre-1948 land of Israel/Palestine.

 photography: Tome bookshtein