Silence in Jezreel – Travel Scroll

דממה ביזרעאל – מגילת מסע

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I am showing this work in the 2017 Jerusalem Biennale, in the group show “100 Years of the Balfour Declaration

The show opens tomorrow, Oct 2, at 17:00 in the Museum of the Underground Prisoners, in the Russian Compound, Jerusalem.

Built by the Czars as a hostel for Russian pilgrims, the museum later served the U.K. Mandate as a prison for those resisting their rule and striving for independence.

I am quite honored to have my work be the first exhibited after the entrance. As I hoped, it is hung in a long, vaulted passageway, and will be viewed as a narrative, read west to east, as the viewers walk by.


Silence in Jezreel, 2017

Gouache on panels, 46 x 366 cm. 18′ x 144″

דממה ביזרעאל, 2017

גואש על לוחות, 46 * 366 ס”מ


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Silence in Jezreel, or “Song of the Emek”, was composed in 1934, to  romanticize the first, large Jewish settlement project, following the Balfour Declaration. This “Redemption” i.e. purchase of the land, was blessed by the British Mandate, which then still acted in accordance to the promises of the Declaration. It was a watershed With the start of construction, new archaeological discoveries showing showing the ancient Jewish presence in the Valley, fired up the settlers’ imagination.

I chose to tell our narrative of continuity and Zionism, as a travel scroll, passing through the string of valleys, from the Jordan to Haifa Bay. Icons from the 6th cent. synagogue mosaic at Bet Alpha are central to the work.

Silence in Jezreel, 2017 by Chanan Mazal





Nevertheless and In Spite of it All – The Land of Israel

Af Al Pi Chen
אף על פי כן, ולמרות הכל – ארץ ישראל. משירו של דוד שימוני, וסיסמת ההעפלה

Gouache, 36 x 51 cm, 2011 or 2012.
These words from the song by David Shimoni, became the anthem of the “Illegal Immigration” during and after the Holocaust.
115,000 refugees boarded “floating coffins” or made long treks by foot, in a clandestine effort to break the blockade set up by the British, in violation of the Mandate given to them by the League of Nations.

ואף על פי כן ולמרות הכל,
ארץ ישראל
וכל עוד דופק בעולם
לב ישראל,
וכל עוד נשמע בעולם
שמע ישראל,
את ארץ, ארץ, ארץ ישראל.

דוד שמעוני