This project, developed between 2007 and 2009, consists of a video installation, a series of images, an artist book and a theatre performance with live music.
Through this complex work, based on an imaginary dialogue between a Palestinian and an Israeli, Mocellin and Pellegrini create a thought-provoking reflection on living conditions in Palestine and Israel.
Quoting different voices that range from the Palestinian journalist Leila El Haddad, to the Israeli writer David Grossman and the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, together with other sources such as blogs, various articles and audio clips downloaded from Internet, the artists reflect upon the contraposition between control and terror, security and instrumental use of fear and on the dichotomy between displacement and sense of belonging that are typical of everyday life in this area.
Themes of identity and relationships with other, which frequently occur in the work of the two artists, are addressed through the description of daily life in a situation of conflict. Considering exile as an existential condition, Mocellin and Pellegrini construct a text in which different points of view, cultures, and origins converge until they eventually overlap, displaying a shared existential condition.
In the central video, a black background-which is gradually marked by bullets-is transformed first into a starry sky. Words slowly start to form, composing part of an essay on flowers by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The text is superimposed by images of native flowers derived from drawings by the nineteenth century Swiss missionary Hanna Zeller. These images appear and gradually disappear, leaving a ghostly white trace, as if their ephemeral beauty, within a dramatic context like the one described, simultaneously contains the essence of life and its own denial.
The projections on either side show a visionary video collage in which the images, intended to contrast with the daily images of conflict provided by the media, take on an alienating, poetic quality.
The soundtrack comprehends a series of audio clips that describe situations of panic, difficulty and violence. At the end, a strophe of Lili Marleen played by the Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon, inevitably refers to the tragedies of the past .
In the theatre performance, that took place at the Out Off theatre in Milan in April 2007, on the backdrop of the video installation, the two artists read the dialogue from their laptops, as to underline the physical distance that separates the narrators from the facts that they are narrating. The live sound of Palestinian Oud master Adel Salamel and singer Naziha Azzouz adds warmth to the representation, strengthening the emotional and poetic content of the project.
In 2009 the project has taken the form of an artist book called “An incongruous beam of beauty over the Gaza Strip”, published by Charta with a critical text by Emanuela De Cecco.