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Lilies of the field #4, Jerusalem, Rachel's tomb

Dor Guez
Lilies of the field #4, Jerusalem, Rachel's tomb, 2019
Archival inkjet print
Work: 170 x 145 cm

Mapping connections between historical archives, photography, and performance, Guez’s photographic series mines the rich historical and mythological dimensions of Jerusalem as a site of religious and political projection. Guez’s 'Lilies of the Field' is comprised of luminous prints of pressed floral and plant arrangements that the artist discovered in his research of the American Colony archive. The flowers represent a diversity of flora indigenous to the holy land, and the areas surrounding the Old City. As popular souvenirs for tourists and missionaries, the pressed flowers in themselves document different forms of devotional labor, from the work of the artisans who pressed the flowers, to those who made the journey and acquired them as souvenirs. Selected by Guez these plant-based objects are embedded with contradictions implied by a discrete piece of nature – the flower – preserved in resin, frozen like taxidermized game captured by a hunter. Equally contradictory is his use of color which belies the natural conditions of the landscape from which the plants emerged. — Sara Reisman