HD video, 2:34 min.
This video layers historical images of a recreational forest preserve in Israel to explore how landscapes contain memories. American Independence Park, some 15 miles west of Jerusalem was developed in 1976, the year of the American Bicentennial, to “celebrate the relationship between the two freedom-loving countries, [of] Israel and the US.” Since 1948, the State of Israel has planted forests over the ruins of evacuated Arab towns. Underneath the trees of American Independence Park, are the ruins of the Palestinian villages of Bayt ‘Itab, Dayr Aban, Dayr Al-Hawa, Jarash, Khirbat al-Tannur, and Ala’ar. These villages were captured in October, 1948.
Liam Ze’ev O’Connor is a Chicago-based artist and educator. Liam grew up on a small suburban island near San Francisco, and received a BA from Lewis & Clark College and a MFA in Sculpture + Expanded Practice from The Ohio State University. Through sculpture, video, and photo-based installation, Liam’s work explores the complexity of American-Jewish identity, the Israel/Palestine conflict, and how we can access the divine through digital media.