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PSEUDO-TERRITORY: Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson and Anna Elena Torres

By Yiddishland Pavilion

Published Oct 6, 2022

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A Hybrid Intervention, Constantly Alive

The new collaborative augmented reality project “Pseudo-territory” by Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson and Anna Elena Torres is inspired by the concept of “Quasi-Territory” (כּמו-טעריטאָריע). The term kmoy-teritorye was coined by the Yiddish literary critic and editor Boruch Rivkin (1883-1945). Rivkin, an anarchist who viewed imagination and creativity as spiritual processes, also coined the term ‘Yiddishland,’ which this pavilion references. 

The object is a hybrid that is based on three languages – Yiddish, English and Proto-Canaanite Alphabet dating to about the 17th century BC and is the origin of the Alphabetic writing system. Therefore, it aspires to embody all the numerous writing systems that have developed from it till this day. The languages are bound to each other inseparably, as they revolve around each other, shifting and morphing between times and geographical spaces instantly – thus representing a constantly alive pseudo-territory. 

Although the work can be experienced anywhere in the world just by accessing the QR code, it was created as a soft intervention in the German Pavilion – as a reminder about Yiddishland in Germany and Jewish presence manifested through language, culture, music, people, architecture, etc, that had existed for many centuries in dialogue and exchange with German culture until the Holocaust – and that experience revival today, also through growing interest to Yiddish. The German pavilion was initially built as the Bavarian pavilion in 1909, renamed in 1912 and redesigned in 1938 to reflect fascist aesthetics and architectural principles. Artist Maria Eichhorn stripped its architectural layers to unveil the political transformations of the both the building, the German society and its representation at the biennale. The emptiness of the German pavilion alongside its architectural history serves as a platform and a background for the pseudo-territory colorful sonic sculpture that slowly floats into the building and seamlessly flows through its spaces. One can see the drifting pseudo-territory but cannot enter it or cannot stop it as it is uncontrolled and moves according to its own rules and choices. 

Experience "PSEUDO-TERRITORY" Anywhere

Scan the QR code or click here to experience the piece in augmented reality. 

 

THE YIDDISHLAND PAVILION is a hybrid online-offline project aimed at tracing and developing Yiddish and Jewish discourse in contemporary artistic practice. Its activities unfold in Venice, Italy and online between April and November 2022. At the 59th Venice Biennale, Yiddishland Pavilion takes place in a dialogue and collaboration with national pavilions of countries with histories of Yiddish-speaking Jewish migration.  

Yiddishland is an imaginary country/land/space/territory connected through Yiddish language and culture. Yiddishland Pavilion analyzes the erosion of global political constellations, practices collective remembrance, condemns war and occupation, and documents consequences of migration and politics of exclusion that target “Otherness”. 

 

Soundtrack design by Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson. Background sound source: “Mayn Rue Platz / My Resting Place” (1911) by Morris Rosenfeld, performed by The Pennywhistlers. Voiceover by Arnd Beck: “A Nesia / A Journey” (2012) by Rivka Basman Ben-Hayim.

“Pseudo-territory” was created with the help of Arhead, a community-driven platform to create content, spaces, and events for the Companies that push forward their brand and engage audiences in the Metaverse. 

“A Journey” by Rivka Basman Ben-Hayim

Text version available here. 

Experience "PSEUDO-TERRITORY" Anywhere

Above: “Pseudo-territory” in AR. (Image 1)

“My Resting Place” by Morris Rosenfeld, 1911

Text version available here. 

Experience "PSEUDO-TERRITORY" Anywhere

Above: “Pseudo-territory” in AR. (Image 2)

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The Yiddishland Pavilion is a hybrid online-offline project aimed at tracing and developing Yiddish and Jewish discourse in contemporary artistic practice. Its activities unfold in Venice, Italy and online between April and November 2022. At the 59th Venice Biennale, Yiddishland Pavilion takes place in a dialogue and colla...

Reflections

History 

What do you know about the history of Yiddish anarchism? How might this piece be anarchistic? 

Poetry 

How do the poems relate to the object? How might they relate to the concept of Yiddishland overall? 

Theory 

What's the implication of the concept of doikayt for Jewish art and culture?  

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