Sunday, November 8

A brainless monster for a boatless harbour

Israel Hadani, a fairly well known sculptor, designed a six meter high monster, a headless woman, legs-bound, a victim if there ever was a victim;  Andromeda.
Its shape reminds one of a rather unelegant doll of "Oscar" Award style, perhaps something to be placed on a car, not unlike the little sculpture on the hood of a Rolls Royce, but big, XXL.

The idea is to place poor brainless, eyeless and silenced Andromeda at the entrance to the Jaffa harbour close to the rock to which the mythical, beautiful princess Andromeda was chained as a tasty offer for a hungry sea monster, in order to save her city, Jaffa.
According to a Greek myth, Andromeda was a princess, the daughter of the king and queen of Jaffa. Andromeda was offered by her parents to a monstrous Medusa in order to save the city of Jaffa.
She was bound to a rock at the Jaffa harbour entrance, from which she was saved by Perseus, who killed the medusa.
The rock-formation at the harbour entrance is known until this very day as the "Andromeda Rock".
It's part of a very ancient, partially submerged, coral reef. The coral reef was important in the formation of Jaffa's natural harbour. It provided good protection for its ships, against storms and enemies. You really had to know exactly how to enter the tricky harbour in just the right way,  in between the unseen rockformations.
Part of the reef was turned, by the British, during the mandate period, into a breakwater protecting the harbour.

Our natural harbour is not deep enough for tall ships but still in intensive use by local fishermen, as they have been doing so for thousands of years.
At the end of the breakwater, a smallish cast iron beakon indicated the harbour entrance. Over the years, under the oxidizing influence of the saltwater waves, its iron rusted and it started to fall apart.

The 6 meter tall Hadani work is supposed to replace it. That's as tall as a two storey building. With bound legs more fitting the ambience of "the Dungeon" (a seedy S&M club in Old Jaffa) and lacking hands and a head as befitting an ultimate and totally defenceless victim.

I had the impression the Hadani sculpture had been completely cancelled as tasteless and unnecessary. But like a true Medusa, it raised its ugly torso once more and it seems they are going to pace the monster without any serious discourse on the need for it nor on its artistic value.

Frankly, there are enough headless monsters in the municipality. We don't really need another one at the harbour entrance.

The view of Jaffa from the sea is lovely and ancient. Why mess it up with yet another "wedding cake" monstrosity? Slowly but surely the fishermen are being kicked out. Our harbour is dying. Hadani's Andromeda is perhaps more than a symbol for the dying bride of the sea, Arus El Bahar, as Jaffa is known in Arabic..

1 comment:

Nasim said...

Wow, What a movie this is man! I like A brainless monster for a boat less harbour because of it's simplicity.
Thanks for your nice bloging.
Best of luck to you.
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