In Personam, In Rem 2 / Iris Pshedezki

The video work In Personam, In Rem 2 (2014) is part of a body of work consisting of video works and photographs, the result of a decade-long hitchhiking journey (2008-2018). The rules were always the same: the point of departure was wherever I was living at the time, hitchhiking to an unknown destination, uncertainty, and an undefined end point. The arbitrary framework led to fleeting encounters with people who hosted me in their car, at times in their home, and interpersonal interactions. The video is composed of photographs from the places I came to, text recorded in my voice that combines quotes from recordings of conversations during the journey, quotes from religious sources, and texts I wrote.

The name of the video derives from a legal concept in damages law originating in the Gemara (Heftza, Gavra). The literal meaning in Aramaic is object/person, as in object and subject.

In the final part of the video, a Kabbalistic text is quoted that appears in several versions. It describes an ancient Kabbalistic custom, and provides instructions on performing a ritual for revealing the future on the eve of Hoshana Rabbah (the seventh day of Sukkot).

This means: Wrapping oneself in a sheet and going out to a place where there is moonlight, removing the sheet, remaining naked, and spreading one’s limbs and fingers. If all one’s limbs are intact, this is a good sign, and if the shadow of one’s head is missing – danger.

And if the shadow of a finger is missing, this is a sign for one’s family members… and this shadow is not one’s shadow proper… but the intention is the shadow of the shadow, called “bavua debavua[1]… and one should wait for the hour of the moon.

 

חפצא וגברא #2 from iris on Vimeo.

Translated by: Margalit Rodgers

[1] The reflection of the reflection.